“Top Kill” fails

BP officials looking for new ways to cap underwater well


With “Top Kill” officially deemed a failure, BP officials are looking for new ways to stop the 42-day-old oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP Managing Director Robert Dudley says the company will now try to cap what it calls the “lower marine riser package,” which would allow it to collect much of the oil that’s currently spilling out from the well. If that doesn’t work, though, the oil may well keep gushing until August, when a relief well is expected to be up-and-running. “If we can contain the flow of the well between now and August and keep it out of the ocean, that’s also a good outcome as well,” Dudley said. “And then, if we can shut it off completely with a relief well, that’s not a bad outcome compared to where we are today.”


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“Top Kill” fails

  1. On the upside, at least BP's executive stock options are worth a lot less than they were at the beginning of April. Unfortunately, so is the value of the fishery in the Gulf of Mexico….and the fishermen didn't make over $6 million last year like Tony Hayward, CEO of BP.

  2. So after a month of drilling (May 2 the first relief well started, 2 weeks later a back-up well was started), they are still 2 months away? And Mr. Prentice would have us do no more, no less on environmental regulations than the US. As a silver lining, this all reflects well on the Athabasca Oil Sands.

  3. Part 1:
    It seems that Pres. Obama is not understanding from his advisors is that there are more effective measures that could be taken.

    Something like the 'top hat' device be placed over the wellhead. Then start filling the 'top hat' with concrete. A hatch built into the top of the 'top hat' would be kept open to allow pressure release so that the 'top hat' would not buoy upwards. Only after a large mass of concrete was in place would the hatch be closed. If necessary, enough concrete should be poured to completely encase the well head, and this would permanently close in the well.

  4. Part 2:
    This is armchair criticism, but it is intended to show that some brute force actions are reasonable to expect. The kind of solution needed here is more like putting a dam in a river. As someone with a background in oceanography as well as experience in solving large marine system problems, I point out possibilities here with the intent of illustrating why we should suspect BP of being disengenuous about their objectives. Surely they know full well how to do these things, but the lack of forceful action suggests that they are first interested in preserving their valuable asset and second interested in limiting damage to the environment for the rest of us.

    And though Pres. Obama seems to be a steady thinking decision maker, he does not seem to be getting the right sort of clarity on this from his advisors.

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