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.
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."
the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and the oil leak began
six weeks ago, BP has tried and failed with several attempts such
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.
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.
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.
confident the job will work but obviously we can' guarantee success,"
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."
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
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.
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.
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.