Saturday, May 29, 2010

BP Top Kill 'Not Working' Tech Says

Kraus and Kaufman of the New York Times report at midday Saturday that an anonymous "'technician working on the project" says all attempts at a 'Top Kill' of the BP oil leak have failed so far. So, too, have three attempt with a "junk shot."
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.”
* * *
The technician said Friday that despite all the injections, at various pressure levels, engineers had been able to keep less than 10 percent of the injection fluids inside the stack of pipes above the well. He said that was barely an improvement on the results Wednesday, when the operation began and was suspended after about 10 hours.
* * *
The technician
also said that there were disagreements among engineers about why efforts had been unsuccessful so far, but that those disagreements were based on a lack of a clear understanding of what was happening inside the pipes on the sea floor.

Meanwhile, anticipating that the top kill may not succeed, BP began preparations to try to place a second containment vessel over the leak. Mr. Suttles said BP was also preparing to replace the damaged blowout preventer.

Since early this morning, public views of BP's 'spillcam' have been showing mostly black, heavy clouds of what appears to be oil and gas leaking at a rate comparable to that seen earlier this week before the latest efforts to stop the leak were commenced.

Meanwhile, the satellite photo analysts at Skytruth say today that their analysis of the latest satellite images "shows deep entrainment in the Loop Current." (For detailed view, click here or on picture to the left.)

They add:

Disturbingly, we see signs of thin surfactant - possibly oil from this spill - in the Loop Current where it moves past the Dry Tortugas and toward the Florida Straits (dashed orange line)."
The analysts, however, are careful to emphasize the word "possibly." Although they say sufficient time has passed for oil to pass this far south in the loop current, the source cannot be verified without "water sampling in the eastern Gulf."

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