Setbacks with the oil leak dome - Macleans.ca

Setbacks with the oil leak dome

Crystals are clogging the opening; meanwhile, Louisiana submits a plan to protect themselves

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On Friday, workers lowered a 98-ton steel box-like dome over an oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, to try and curb the spewing of 5,000 barrels of oil a day into the water. A dome of such size has never been lowered so deep, and the first problem it’s encountered are crystals forming at the opening of the dome caused by gas hydrates, when gas and water mix. Officials said the crystals can be cleared away and that the dome has to be brought up to shallower waters—but so far the it is not funnelling the oil as it should. Meanwhile, the oil is reaching the coast of Louisiana and officials of that state have put forth a plan they would like to see: asking BP to fund the creation of 68 kilometres of fake islands—that would rise two metres above the ocean surface—to help keep the oil from vulnerable marshes and protect the state during the upcoming hurricane season.

New York Times

The Globe and Mail

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