Saturday, May 29, 2010

Top Kill Fails; BP 'Moving On' - Overnight Spillcam

"This scares everybody — the fact that we can't make this well stop flowing."
--BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles
(Los Angeles Times, May 29)

New York Times:
In the most serious setback yet in the effort to stem the flow of oil gushing from a well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico, BP engineers said Saturday that the “top kill” technique had failed and, after consultation with government officials, they had decided to move on to another strategy.
Los Angeles Times:
In the new strategy, BP engineers would first sever the crumpled riser pipe, then attach a cap over the lower-marine riser package that sits atop the blowout preventer. A new pipe would direct the oil to a surface ship. It will take at least four days to install, Suttles said, and could capture "a great majority" of the oil spewing from the well.

Oil is now flowing from the crippled well and would continue until the maneuver is finished, Suttles said. Last week, a government panel estimated the flow of oil at 504,000 to 798,000 gallons a day.

Suttles cautioned that the new maneuver would be "a very complex operation." As with earlier efforts, it has never been tried at 5,000 feet below sea level using robotic submarines.
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