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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Gulf of BP Chronicles Thread For 5/29/10: Looks Like "Top Kill" Is Killing Itself

What a shame .
The New York Times has the bad news:

BP engineers failed again to plug the gushing oil well on Saturday, a technician working on the project said, representing yet another setback in a series of unsuccessful procedures the company has tried a mile under the sea to stem the flow spreading into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP made a third attempt at what is termed the “junk shot” Friday night, a procedure that involves pumping odds and ends like plastic cubes, knotted rope, and golf balls into the blowout preventer, the five-story safety device atop the well. The maneuver is complementary to the heavily scrutinized effort known as a “top kill,”which began four days ago and involves pumping heavy mud into the well to counteract the push of the escaping oil. If the well is sealed, the company plans to then fill it with cement.

The technician working on the project said Saturday pumping has again been halted and a review of the data so far is under way. “Right now, I would not be optimistic,” the technician, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly about the effort. But he added, that if another attempt at the junk shot were to succeed, “that would turn things around.”
I think it's safe to say that in a sane world, their gas stations across the country and everything else their own would be out of business right about now.

Update: But wait, they have a new idea!!!
The new option proposed is to cut the existing riser and to install a new riser and cap over the breach. According to Suttles, the new containment effort will take about four days and has the potential to capture a great majority of oil, but not all.
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