BP’s Top Kill Strategy Fails

British Petroleum announced today that their top kill strategy to contain the massive oil leak in the Gulf has failed and they are abandoning further efforts.  They are shifting efforts to a what is termed the lower marine riser package cap, where capturing oil from the leak is the goal instead of trying to stop it.

What is likely the most devastating environmental disaster in North America since before the Exxon Valdez tragedy continues to degrade.  An estimated 70,000 barrels of oil a day is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, and containment efforts continue to fail.

SaveOurGulf reports that:

Steve Wereley, a Purdue University professor, has calculated the leak to be between 56,000 to 84,000 barrels of oil per day (versus BP’s proclaimed estimate of 5,000 barrels a day). ** 70,000 barrels is equal to roughly 2.8 million gallons.

They continue, “During a press conference on May 29, 2010 at 5:10 p.m. BP Chief Operating Officer.  Doug Suttles announced that the Top Kill will no longer be continued.  BP’s next move is to cut off the bent Riser Pipe and replace it with a Lower Marine  Riser Package Cap (LMRP Cap).  Mr. Suttles stated that he believes that the LMRP Cap will capture a great majority of the flow but not all of it.”

The PBS News Hour has a live stream of the oil spill in progress available here.

The ‘top kill’ strategy began 3 days ago involved cramming the shaft with materials and heavy liquids in order to create a foundation that would allow insertion of a cement cap.

With the magnitude of this spill increasing far beyond industry estimates, radical solutions are now being floated by some analysts including the nuclear option.  The former Soviet Union plugged a massive natural gas leak in the desert by detonating a nuclear device.  Although this stopped a raging inferno that had gone on for 3 years, the environmental consequences are not appealing.

As the pressure mounts for tangible results in ending this catastrophic oil leak, BP has become increasingly restrictive in access to information.  A photojournalist for Times-Picayune news Ted Jackson, stated that “access to the spill is slowly being strangled off.” A recent poll demonstrates the public disdain for the entire disaster, with 51% of Americans now opposing off-shore drilling.  Public relations efforts for BP have further been complicated when they recently bussed in 400 volunteers to help with the cleanup for a photo op with President Obama, only to just bus them right back out again after he had left.


4 Responses to BP’s Top Kill Strategy Fails

  1. franksivero May 29, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    What is going on in Gulf of Mexico is horrible, I have seen some photos that make you sick of this oil spill. Do not know what are they still doing.I received an email from my friend that if you are affected from the oil spill and would like to sue them here is the place http://bit.ly/ayU0hA

  2. hawthorne May 29, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Another hope is dead. In the night had to Doug Suttles, BP-operations at the crash site in the Gulf of Mexico, at a press conference to admit that you do not have the so-called top-kill method, the gusher can close.

    Three days long you’ve tried everything, but in the end did not work, the top-kill method, BP said the manager. Almost five million liters of mud they had pumped into the ragged hole, at the end of the attempts were in vain.

    It’s getting worse, I do not know how it will end.

  3. a.guest May 29, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    They won’t be able to cap this well until they have finished drilling the relief well to relieve the pressure at the well head.A mile deep well head has pressures enough to implode a big nuke submarine and the increased turbulence and pressure from the well,itself,a brand new well at that,just makes the effort even more impossible.People who understand extreme depth drilling in the oil industry knew this from the start.All of these capping efforts have been to show that they are doing something and to keep public panic as low as possible while they BP waits for the relief well to finish,about two months from now.

  4. ejhickey June 1, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    The suggestion that a nuclear device be used to cap this well is irresponsible and borders on insanity. No one really knows what the effect of using such a device and whether it would make a bad situation even worse. the Russians have only tried this 5 times and the last time they did it was a failure. Also unknown is the environmental impact , especially near a major population center. It could open up an even bigger hole in the ocean floor allowing even more oil to spew out , except this oil would be radioactive flavored. Mix in a few hurricanes to push this mess towards New Orleans and the rest of the coast and you would set the stage for a mass exodus of every state along the Gulf. When the “nuclear option” is even being considered, it is time to take a few deep breaths and calm down. Or don’t ! Just give the rest of us notice so that we can load up on gold , ammo, gas, and canned goods after we take all our money out of the banks and the market.

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