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BP CEO Tony Hayward  (Source: CBS News, AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  (Source: CBS News, AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

  (Source: Fast Company)
But BP has a new plan

Saturday marked yet another failed attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's top kill procedure used more than 1.2 million gallons of mud to suppress oil into the well 5,000 feet below surface in hopes of sealing the well permanently with cement, but most of the mud ended up escaping out of the damaged riser. 

"This scares everybody, the fact that we can't make this well stop flowing, the fact that we haven't succeeded so far," said BP PLC Chief Operating Officer Dough Suttles. "Many of the things we're trying have been done on the surface before, but have never been tried at 5,000 feet."

Since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and the oil leak began six weeks ago, BP has tried and failed with several attempts such as robot submarines to close valves on the blowout preventer, large and small-sized domes to contain the leak, a one mile long siphon that only collected 900,000 gallons of oil and now, a failed top kill procedure. According to government figures, between 18 million and 40 million gallons of oil has been spilled into the Gulf. 

Despite these failures, BP already has a new plan in motion. The next step is to use robot submarines to cut the riser where the oil is leaking and try to cap it with a containment valve while using a new pipe to siphon oil up to containment ships on the surface. 

Suttles says that "cutting off the damaged riser isn't expected to cause the flow rate of leaking oil to increase significantly," though experts have mentioned that the bend in the riser was likely restricting the flow of oil and cutting it and adding a new containment valve could be a risk.

"We're confident the job will work but obviously we can' guarantee success," said Suttles. 

The new plan will take between four and seven days to work before BP can report whether it's a success or failure. According to Philip W. Johnson, an engineering professor at the University of Alabama, if BP "can't get that valve on, things will get much worse" and that the new plan is "a scary proposition."

In addition to this new effort, a relief well is in the works which should be completed in August of this year. A major concern for BP is that hurricane seasons begins Tuesday, and they're hoping the weather cooperates while they work on the Gulf.

"What we are trying to do is create an engineered solution so that we can remain on station essentially through, not perhaps the heart of a hurricane, but through the very rough weather associated with a hurricane somewhere in the Gulf," said BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Even as BP readies for the next plan of action, Louisiana residents remain disappointed and are as angry as ever. Hundreds of protestors gathered in New Orleans to speak out against BP's continuing failures.

"I'm a little upset that the perpetrators of a crime that killed 11 people are still in charge of the crime site," said local musician Dr. John, an impromptu speaker. 


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By Dorkyman on 6/1/2010 1:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
"Insane profits?" Wow back to you. Try reading the financial section of the papers once in a while to see just how thin the profit margin is.

As for blame, look where we (meaning the greens and tree-huggers) have forced oil companies to search for oil. Not on the land or in shallow water, where blown wells are easily fixed in a matter of days if not hours. No, we have forced drilling in waters ONE MILE DEEP. Good luck with that.

By Mojo the Monkey on 6/1/2010 1:54:20 PM , Rating: 1
You are grossly misinformed. These selectively griped-about thin profit margins are after deducting every possible expense on the balance sheet. I know several people in the oil industry and I can tell you that they are not running penny-pinching operations. The pay structures at these companies, not just the regular compensation, which is high, but the bonuses (good god) are ridiculous. Yeah, when its all said and done you see lots of money "spent" to earn that end profit, but lots of money is enjoyed along the way.

By MrBungle123 on 6/1/2010 2:28:04 PM , Rating: 4
and why is making a profit a bad thing? At the end of the day a buisness is there to make money not provide services. Oil companies do not exist to ensure that individuals can afford to drive their cars for next to nothing, they exist to provide a return on the investment made by their share holders. The prices that are paid for thier products are going to naturally find their way to the maximum level that can be maintained without causing so much demand destruction that it eats into thier bottom line.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 2:47:54 PM , Rating: 1
Ok you know what, without the oil companies making "huge" profits, we would lose about 1.5 trillion in tax revenue per YEAR, and have a complete financial collapse.

So what'll it be?

By Mojo the Monkey on 6/2/2010 11:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
what part of my post said that I thought the profits were bad? I just said they were there. Get all fussy with another poster.

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