May 8th, 2010
03:33 PM ET

Effort to place dome over oil well dealt setback, BP says

[Update 3:58 p.m.] Read the full story

[Posted 3:33 p.m.] The effort to place a containment dome over a gushing wellhead was dealt a setback when a large volume of hydrates - crystals formed when gas combines with water - accumulated inside of the vessel, BP's chief operating officer said Saturday.

The dome was moved off to the side of the wellhead and is resting on the seabed while crews work to overcome the challenge, Doug Settles said.

Suttles said the gas hydrates are lighter than water, and as a result, made the dome buoyant. The crystals also blocked the top of the dome, which would prevent oil from being funneled to a drill ship.

"What we had to do was pick the dome back up, set it over to the side while we evaluate what options we have to actually try to prevent the hydrate formation or find some other method to try to capture the flow," Suttles said.

He said two options officials are looking at are heating the dome or adding ethanol to dissolve the hydrates.

soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. N. Odnotor

    Pretty sad that with all of these highly paid PhDs the problem cannot be solved. Let the college kids from MIT tackle the problem. Better yet, look to other countries for support.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • wiley mitchell

      it is time for obama to be the president or go home.

      May 25, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike mcqueary

      I have a fool proof way to stop the leaking oil in the gulf- But i dont know how to get the info to the rite people. Use an air bladder such as a tire inner tube- attach it to a length of pipe- insert it into the end of the open pipe- then air the bladder up- thus sealing the leak untill further repairs can be made. I know it works because i have used it before. And guess what- it dont cost a million bucks.

      May 26, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • G Gregory

      What seems strange to me is top kill did not work . How they are going to do lower marine riser pakage. BP has been working on this for 10 days according to cnn. It should have been ready when the top kill did not work BP should be working on more solutions and having them ready Why don't they have the super tankers in the gulf sucking up what oil they can seems like they are worried about money more than the clean up.

      May 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary J. Lipstraw

      My idea to help the oil from flowing: #1 Pump in hot lava- like fighting fire with fire in a way. #2 Pump in resin and clamp a steel top until harden. You never know either one could work-GOOD LUCK!!! Mary J. Lipstraw

      June 1, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fred t

    this situation is getting uglier and uglier by the day. are we looking at a developing disaster that may not be contained at all? is this well going to drain completely into the gulf? these BP oil guys have no idea what they are doing, do they?

    May 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TechMan09

    If they attach a hose or pipe which they planned to attach after the deployment, now, and inject HOT Air while lowering it over the leak, it may allow the deployment to complete AND leave the top hole open for oil flow.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kevin

    what on earth made them think this would work?

    May 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sparky

    big surprise......leving those responsible for the catastrophe responsible for fixing it

    May 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JB

    Are the crystals a problem because they will not stop the leak?.....or only because they will ruin the quality of the oil that BP is pumping to the surface to sell from the leak??? What is the motive here?

    May 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Siara Delyn

    But, as they emphasized, "they are having agreat dialog about the subject"

    May 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. A

    nope Fred, apparently they dont seem to have a clue as to what they are doing. idiots. people like this embarrass me. i will never understand greed, like ever.....

    May 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TH

    Well, guess this further demonstrates the lack of foresight & testing @ depths of a containment vessel for the remote chance it might be needed. Pray that it works though –

    May 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scott Feinberg

    N. Odnotor is right. This is all pretty embarassing for BP. I hope they fix this soon. It's just so awful what has happened.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jefro bates

    We have turned the control of our border over to Mexico, The control of our Shoreline over to the British, how bout next we hand over Airport Security to the MUSLIMS.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wally Preissing

    We need a word beyond disaster to tag this with. One that encompasses greed, sadness, abuse, mismanagement, and many other truths.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jim wiks

    Why can't all the christians in america just get together and ask god to help them plug this hole. Its his planet.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    I'm glad that all of you petroleum engineers think that you're qualified to solve this probblem. It will be solved, it will be solved by BP, not by Obamabots and the level of panic displayed by some of you is amazing.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    They'll figure it out. They need to be careful and not do any damage. This is not a simple procedure at this depth.

    May 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
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