July 20th, 2010
02:15 PM ET

BP’s trial & error: What’s worked and what hasn’t


[Updated 10:25 a.m., Aug. 6]

With oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for almost three months, every attempt to stop the leak has failed, or fallen short - until now. Oil finally stopped gushing from the well on July 15. We look back at how we ended up here: what BP has tried and done so far.

July 20, 2010

Solution: Static Kill
Scientists are weighing a new option called  "static kill” for permanently sealing it. The "static kill" would involve pumping mud into the well to force oil back into the reservoir below. This is similar to the "top kill" method that failed earlier (see below), except that now the oil isn't flowing - hence the word "static."

Read more on static kill at Time.com

Engineers are proceeding with the relief wells that eventually will pump concrete into the well bore to kill it from the bottom. A static kill, if pursued, would hit it from the top.

Expectation
BP noted that the option could succeed where other similar attempts have failed because pressure in the well is lower than expected. Geologist Arthur Berman tells CNN's "American Morning" the relative simplicity of the static kill makes it an attractive option for BP.

Outcome
BP finished pouring cement down the well on Aug. 6, completing the job earlier than expected. The process took six hours. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the cementing phase of the "static kill" operation is not the end of the process, "but it will virtually assure us there's no chance of oil leaking into the environment."

July 10, 2010

Solution: New better-fitting containment cap
BP said it was going to remove the old containment cap, replacing it with another that has a better fit. Robots removed six giant bolts from the apparatus July 11 so the new cap could be positioned.

Scientists will then be able to gauge the pressure inside the well and determine whether the cap is holding in the oil or if crews will need to continue siphoning oil.

BP says it will conduct a “well integrity test,” which involves closing the stack end and stemming the flow coming from the well.

If it works, oil collection via the vessels, Q4000 and Helix Producer, will cease. BP will then close in on the perforated pipe. This process, which will be done in collaboration with U.S. government officials, could take up to 48 hours.

Expectation
In the best-case scenario, the containment cap would have the ability to actually close down the valves and slowly contain all the oil – not plug the well.

If oil collection was still necessary, over the next two to three weeks, 60,000 to 80,000 barrels (2.52 million to 3.36 million gallons) a day could be collected as part of the containment process, BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells said. That's because the containment cap would allow four collection ships to access the well, rather than the maximum of three allowed by the old cap.

The oil giant said earlier as well that the cap "should improve containment efficiency during hurricane season by allowing shorter disconnect and reconnect times."

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said he approved the cap-switch plan to take advantage of favorable weather predicted for coming days and because, once the switch is complete, the resulting capacity to contain oil "will be far greater than the capabilities we have achieved using current systems." Allen also stressed that once the capping device is on, "we would get the most accurate flow rate to date."

Outcome
The oil stopped gushing out on the afternoon of July 15 -  the first time BP has been able to gain control since the the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded three months ago and triggered the catastrophe.

The "well integrity test" began on July 15 after two days of delays, first as government scientists scrutinized testing procedures and then as BP replaced a leaking piece of equipment known as a choke line.

BP cautioned that the oil cutoff, while welcomed, isn't likely to go beyond the 48 hours. Valves are expected to open after that to resume siphoning oil to two ships on the surface, the Q4000 and Helix Producer, as government and BP officials assess the data and decide what to do next.

As of July 19, testing on a capped oil well in the Gulf of Mexico continues as the federal government says BP has addressed questions about a seep near the well. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's response manager for the oil spill, says that a federal science team and BP representatives discussed the seep during a conference call, including the "possible observation of methane over the well."

See progress on relief wells

June 16, 2010

Solution: Second containment system
BP said Wednesday it has started collecting oil gushing into the Gulf through a second containment system attached to the ruptured well. The new system is connected directly to the blowout preventer and carries oil up to a second ship, the Q4000. The Q4000 uses a specialised clean-burning system to flare oil and gas captured by this second system. The Q4000 uses a specialised clean-burning system to flare oil and gas captured by this second system.

Expectation
This second system supplements the lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap containment system, which remains in operation, BP said. The new system is connected directly to the blowout preventer and carries oil and gas through a manifold and hoses to the Q4000 vessel on the surface.

Outcome
Oil and gas collected from the blowout preventer reached the Q4000 at approximately early on June 16. Operations continue to stabilise and optimise the performance of the second containment system.

See progress on the relief wells

June 3, 2010
Solution: An altered version of "cut and cap"
BP went back to the drawing board June 3 and planned to cut away the remains of the damaged riser pipe with a robotic-arm shearing device. A containment dome would then be put over the blowout preventer's lower marine riser package, but the larger, less precise shearing device will have left a rougher cut than what the diamond wire cutter was supposed to offer.

Expectation
The more primitive cut means that a rubber seal will not be as tight as previously hoped, so the dome may capture less of the oil. Nevertheless, the hope is that a good amount of the oil can be captured and brought to the surface until August, when BP is expected to be ready to use a relief well to seal the leaking well for good.Outcome
BP sliced off the remains of the damaged riser June 3, and Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's response manager, called the news "extremely important." Robot submarines steered the new cap to the well later that evening. The cap placed over the top of the well funnels oil and gas to a surface ship, though oil is still spilling out from the cap and the valves.

On June 7, BP says that it has closed one of four vents on top of the cap, and that the process is working well. The company says it may not close all four of the valves because engineers think the valves may be releasing more gas than oil.

On June 10, scientists said as much as 40,000 barrels of crude are gushing into the sea every day. The previous estimate by researchers, made two weeks ago, was 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day.

BP has collected about 73,300 barrels (about 3 million gallons) of oil since it placed a containment cap on its ruptured well, the company said.

June 1, 2010
Solution: "Cut and cap"

BP plans to send marine robots that will cut the "lower marine riser package,” or LMRP, on the well. This is a set of pipes that connect the oil well’s blowout preventer to the damaged pipe. After that, a diamond-cut saw will be used to make a "clean cut," preparing the way for a custom-made cap to be fitted over the package. One of a number of caps that BP has available, depending on the cut, will be placed over the package to bring the oil and gas to the surface.

The operation represents the first of three containment steps that BP plans to take. After the cap is on, a second operation will create a second flow through the blowout preventer, meaning there will be two channels of oil leaking to the surface.

Expectation
When asked about his level of confidence in the capping procedure, given the fact that other operations aimed at stopping the spill have failed, BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said the company has learned a lot from previous attempts. For instance, warm water will be pumped down in an effort to combat the formation of hydrates, or crystals, that blocked a previous containment vessel.

While the engineering has never been attempted at a depth of 5,000 feet, Dudley said, it is "more straightforward" than that used in previous operations. The cap "should be able to capture most of the oil," Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP's global exploration and production business said. However, he cautioned that the new cap will not provide a "tight mechanical seal."

If successful, the procedure will allow BP to collect most, but not all, of the oil spewing from the well. The cutting that precedes the cap placement carries with it a risk of increasing the oil flow, Dudley acknowledged. But "even with increased flow rate, this cap will be able to handle this." However, the BP statement said, "systems such as the LMRP containment cap have never been deployed at these depths and conditions, and their efficiency and ability to contain the oil and gas cannot be assured."

Outcome
BP's effort to slice off a damaged riser pipe stalled after the blade of a diamond wire saw got stuck June 2. The diamond wire cutter plan was dumped after the device got stuck midway through the pipe. It was freed and taken to the surface.

May 28, 2010
Solution: “Junk shot”
This method involves debris such as shredded tires, golf balls and similar objects being shot under extremely high pressure into the blowout preventer in an attempt to clog it and stop the leak. Engineers at BP used this technique along with the top kill.

What was expected
"Each of these [materials] has been proven to fill various-sized spaces in the blowout preventer until the flow is stopped," BP says in a statement on its website. "While there is no known perfect 'recipe,' a number of combinations of materials will be used." More drilling mud would follow the junk shot, with the hope that the two methods together would stop the oil long enough for cement to be poured into the well. BP’s Suttles compared the operation to stopping up a toilet.

Did it work?
This one failed, too. The process was carried out "a number of times" with the U.S. Coast Guard before the oil giant admitted that the experiment had failed, BP press officer Sheila Williams said. Engineers first used the junk shot to quell the 1991 Kuwait oil fires, but never at such depths. "I don't think we'll be using golf balls again," Williams said.

May 25, 2010
Solution: "Top kill"
The top kill involves pumping heavy drilling fluid into the head of the leaking well at the sea floor. The manufactured fluid, known as drilling mud, is normally used as a lubricant and counterweight in drilling operations. The hope is that the drilling mud will stop the flow of oil. Cement then would be pumped in to seal the well. The first round of pumping began May 26.

Expectation
Top kill has worked on above-ground oil wells in the Middle East but has never been tested 5,000 feet underwater. BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward has given the maneuver a 60 percent to 70 percent chance of success.

A team of experts will examine conditions inside the five-story blowout preventer to determine how much pressure the injected mud will have to overcome. The company then performs diagnostic tests to determine whether the procedure can proceed.

Outcome
Three days of work involving three separate pumping efforts and 30,000 barrels of mud – along with what Hayward described as "16 different bridging material shots" – just didn't do the trick.

"We have not been able to stop the flow," a somber Suttles told reporters. " ... Repeated pumping, we don't believe, will achieve success, so we will move on to the next option." Suttles and other officials said that the top kill attempt to stop the flow did so – but only as long as they were pumping. When the pumping stopped, the oil resumed its escape.

May 14, 2010
Solution: Riser insertion tube
The riser insertion tube tool is a temporary solution that involves inserting a 4-inch-diameter tube into the Deepwater Horizon’s rise, a 21-inch diameter pipe, between the well and the broken end of the riser on the sea floor.

Expectation
The insertion tube connects to a new riser to allow hydrocarbons to flow up to the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise drill ship. The oil will be separated and shipped ashore.

Outcome
This seems to be the most successful effort thus far in containing some of the spill. The system was able to capture some of the leaking oil and pipe it aboard a drill ship, burning off some of the natural gas released in the process, according to a statement from the joint BP-Coast Guard command center leading the response to the oil spill.

The flow rate from the tube reached 3,000 barrels of crude (126,000 gallons) and 14 million cubic feet of gas a day as of May 20. BP’s Suttles said the company is "very pleased" with the performance of the tube. However, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana says the efforts haven't stopped oil from reaching his state's coastline.

May 12, 2010
Solution: Second containment dome or “top hat”
The "top-hat" cofferdam is a 5-foot-tall, 4-foot-diameter structure that weighs less than 2 tons and would be injected with alcohol to act as an antifreeze and keep its outlet clear.

Expectation
BP built the smaller dome after the containment vessel, designed to cap the larger of two leaks in the well, developed glitches. The new device would keep most of the water out at the beginning of the capping process and allow engineers to pump in methanol to keep the hydrates from forming, BP's Suttles said. Methanol is a simple alcohol that can be used as an antifreeze.

Outcome
BP abandoned the idea of using the “top hat” and opted to proceed with an insertion tube technique instead. It wasn’t clear why BP made that choice.

May 7, 2010
Solution: First containment dome
BP lowered a massive four-story containment vessel over the well to cap the larger of two leak points. The hope was that the container would collect the leaking oil, which would be sucked up to a drill ship on the surface.

Expectation
"If all goes according to plan, we should begin the process of processing the fluid and stop the spilling to the sea," Suttles said. But the method had not been done at such depths before.

Outcome
The plan was thwarted after ice-like hydrate crystals formed when gas combined with water to block the top of the dome and make it buoyant. The dome was moved off to the side of the wellhead and is resting on the sea floor, Suttles said. He declined to call it a failed operation but said, "What we attempted to do ... didn't work."

May 4, 2010
Solution: Drilling a relief well
The second well joins the failed well at the bottom, in rock 13,000 feet below the ocean. Once contact is made, drilling fluid and concrete will be put into the first well.

Expectation
This will lower the pressure on the failed well, enough to allow a concrete plug to be placed into it and permanently shut it down. The relief well could also be used for future oil and gas production. BP began drilling the second well this month, but it will take three months to complete. Weather conditions could prolong the process, Beaudo said.

Outcome
The well is expected to be completed by August. It would be a permanent solution to cap the leaking well.

End of April
Solution: Robots to shut blowout preventer
The rig’s blowout preventer, a 48-foot-tall, 450-ton apparatus that sits atop the well 5,000 feet underwater, failed to automatically cut off the oil flow after the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig. BP attempted to use remote-controlled submarines with robotic arms to reach access portals and activate the valve.

Expectation
The highly complex task was to take 24 to 36 hours, said Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP's global exploration and production business.

Outcome
Failed. "We've tried many different ways. Some things have showed promise; some haven't," BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said. "We don't know why the remote-operated shutdown systems haven't worked."

Testing on a capped oil well in the Gulf of Mexico continues for another day as the federal government says BP has addressed questions about a seep near the well. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's response manager for the oil spill, says that a federal science team and BP representatives discussed the seep during a conference call, including the "possible observation of methane over the well."

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. BreakingNewsBlog.us

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    it seems that "top kill" has only a 60% chance of success... try a BETTER option now: http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
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    May 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      BP needs to do a better job at showing the public they are considering all the far fetched ideas everyone submits.

      1) drop a big sandbag on top of the leaking well.
      2) if we have mile long sewers in our cities, why can't they lower down a mile long pipe and then direct the oil into a supertanker
      3) create a draping system surrounding the well so all the oil remains contained in a small diameter

      If I can think of three (likely bad) ideas surely some engineers can do a much better job.

      June 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      please look at this BP's live video that shows how BP owns a giant idraulic clamp able to SHRINK and CLOSE the oil riser (to reduce the oil leak to 5-10% or even to zero!!!!) but, in lastest 40+ days, BP has NEVER used it, while, has always used only methods able to "save" its oil and continue to pump up it, spilling over 100,000,000 gallons of oil in the Gulf's sea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html
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      that's why BP has NEVER adopted other good ideas to STOP the oil leak in a matter of DAYS, like those I've suggested them for over three weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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      http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
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      June 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      the new method to be used by BP to (just try to) stop the oil spill (cut the oil riser, near the wellhead's top, and put a valve with a pipe to pump up the oil to surface) has the main goal to "save the BP oil" (like all other, failed, methods used so far) but, this time, if the second part of the attempt (plug the just cutted riser) will FAIL, there will be NO FAST OR EASY WAY to stop the oil spill for at least TWO-THREE MONTHS, since, without the riser, BP can't no longer adopt other, simpler, methods to stop the oil leak!
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      this kind of operation should be accomplished with the wellhead oil valves CLOSED, while, now, BP wants to plug a new oil riser while the oil flows at VERY HIGH PRESSURE, then, this is a thing that has a VERY HIGH probability to FAIL, as explained here:
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      June 1, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      remember, that, only THIS oil well (if repaired, rather than closed) could give to BP up to $10 billion of revenue per year... :[
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      June 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      1) Remove the top valve. 2)Connect a sandwich valve with valve/gate open. 3)Tighten down sandwich valve and close the valve/gate.
      That's my 2cents......

      June 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janice

      Someone needs to invent a boat that runs on tar. There will be plenty available for a long time to come in the Gulf.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Nuke it. If that doesn't work, nuke it again... with a bigger nuke.

      Maybe we'll have hundred legged crabs and triple bodied crawfish out of this when its all over.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • John F

      Solution to clean up the oil.

      http://www.youtube.com/user/MobiusTechnologies#p/a/u/0/uFNOnI3M_1M

      June 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      This cut and cap is crazy! Do BP engineers attach a lawn sprinkler while the hose is on? 20% increase will be 200% by morning.

      June 2, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • larry c

      two ideas...........1. get a big hydrolic clamp to pinch these pipes together. 2. get a video gamer to operate these subs, cameras, hydrolic cutters and saws and it would be fixed TODAY.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      Is it true that BP will lose the oil rights if they implode the well? I say they lose them anyway because of their greed from NOT killing it. They have already ruined our environment from this disaster. It will take years, if not decades, to recover from this disaster, if we ever do.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      I think they are taking too long and looking at it in a very complex way, why don't they try something like a piggy back type of solution that will divert the oil out and get some type of control until the final drilling in August is completed tor the new well. I'm no engineer but just as blood flows through a vein and is extracted by a a tube and then piggy backed at time for later extraction maybe the same concept could be applied.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Rajan

      How about BP pinches the pipe to reduce the flow of oil?

      June 2, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe Hansen

      Here's an idea. Create a stent to seal off the leak. this can be made out of any expandable material that won't degrade due to the pressure, water, temp or oil (not sure if this would be a vinyl, plastic, etc). Deliver with a hollow tube if you want to siphon off oil. lower into pipe and expand the bladder to seal the tube. then pump out oil to your hearts content (or leave it closed). It could act like an artificial joint.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • randy weber

      if this new procedure DOES NOT work than we have 20 percent MORE spilling out?????? Hope they put some time into this one.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • ujsplace

      why can't they just clamp the gushing pipe, rather than cap it? There is no device that capable of crushing the pipe and then crimping it? Granted, this would not pe a permanent solution, but would at a minimum – I would think slow the flow until the relief wells are completed...

      June 2, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • DIAN

      PLEASE TRY USEING A WRECKING TYPE BALL, MAYBE SURROUND IT WITH SOME FORM OF RUBBER, BUT I THINK IF WE CAN GET THE RIGHT WEIGHT THIS WILL HELP ALL OR ALOT OF IT

      June 2, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Littlered

      We need to demand the government permanently close the well today – underwater detonation. Implode this thing!!!!

      June 2, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • jack izbicki

      When I first heard of this my immediate thought was to insert a string of inflatable bladders coupled together into the broken pipe. The bladders would then be inflated with either air or fluid, thus stopping or significantly reducing the flow of oil and gas. The pipe could then be cut and capped properly without the turbulence created by the leaking flow.

      June 2, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Why not sink an old battleship on the well?

      June 2, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • mj queeno

      pull the pipe out and let the ocean floor repair its self use a large crane to to pull the pipe out

      June 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark L

      Why has the option of implosion of the conduit using an explosive charge not been considered?

      June 2, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      I just seems like BP wants to find some way to collect the oil. They need to stop this leak! I thought of using an inflatible plug like some others suggested below. I see the use a inflatible plug as a quick and feasible method. The high sea pressures at that depth would not be an isssue because the pressure needed to expand the inflatible plug will only slightly higher than the surrounding sea pressure. I differ from the others below because once the inflatible plug stops the oil flow, I would seal (cap) the well with concrete. They can always drill other well; SOMEHOW THIS LEAK MUST BE STOPPED!!!!!

      June 3, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Large sleeve fitting over the flange with a draw knife on top. Keep the knife open until the sleeve is attached then close the knife. Anyone else have ideas?? One of our off the wall ideas just may be the answer.

      June 3, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      Why not try applying an aircraft de-icing boot to the inside of the cap? Once the cap is installed, inflate the boot and seal off the leak? Couldn't this work?

      June 3, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe Sanders

      This is a joke. Every attempt to stop the oil involves a system to pump up the oil to a relief ship above. It seems that BP does not want to shut off this well because they will loose money. They could of crimped the pipe instead of cutting it or something. And even if this cap is placed on it in this latest attempt, oil will still be gushing out. What is next? A black Ocean and no more sea life? I guess the myth of 2012 is becoming more of a reality in ways.

      June 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • OilfieldFishingToolSupervisor

      It does no good to go "head hunting" and "blame fixing". I am an oilfield fisherman and my job is to get engineers out of trouble. I have 43 years experience in fishing and recovery of oil and gas wells. BP should consider at this point going in with a hydraulic set packer, enough Drill Collars to set it below the BOP's in the good casing, and a big heavy set of BOP's subbed back to the Drill Collars. They can then set the packer hydraulically and have the option of either "bullheading" heavy mud away and killing the well or cementing to Plug and Abandon the well. As soon as the packer sets, the oil flow will stop.This well is too valuable an asset to this country to simply "junk" it. It does no good to put pressure on people that are trying to repair this catastrophy. You can sue and place blame later. Now we need to concentrate of fixing the problem.

      June 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      see NOW the attempt to put a cap to the oil wellhead LIVE on four different channels:
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/html/OceanInterventionROV2.html
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/html/Enterprise_ROV_1.html
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/html/Enterprise_ROV_2.html
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      June 3, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheryl

      why don't they get Tampax to build a big tampon and get the robot to insert it in the well. The more it absorbs, the wider it will get and eventually plug the well. This is not a joke. I truly believe this will work.

      June 3, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dutchie

      Common, please accept our help, let your voice hear, do it for the sake of the planets health
      http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/dutch-oil-spill-response-team-standby-us-oil-disaster

      June 4, 2010 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      What I don't understand is, the cap is on yet they say they have all the releif valves open because they dont want to get water in the oil when they start syphining it. Well what does it matter if water is in it? Why not just close the D*** valves and see if it works? or is BP planning on trying to use the syphened oil and is worried that water mixed in will render it useless? Or is there a real legitimate reasn as to why water can't go up the pipe to the ship? I mean seriously, if sea water wont damage anything then lets get a move on and get this thing going! Admin- if you people know why they have to wait feal free to email me or at least explain why on television!

      June 4, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • JQ

      It's a disgrace that we spend most of the money in outer space, when we need to be spending on underwater explorartion. Men in subterreanen vehicles that can bear such depths, should be working to stop the spill.
      We are really so far behind, living in the dark ages.

      June 4, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Artfulcodger

      Yes the bladder or condom or umbrella idea seems to make the most sense. Like a huge goretex condom over the leak which would capture the upwardly floating oil. It would have lead weights around the edge and would drop to the bottom naturally. And a frame like a huge hula hoop to keep it open while it drops to the bottom. Then connect hoses or pipes to the bladder/condom/umbrella whatever image we can all agree upon. It would look like a large umbrella with pipes or hoses stuck around the top to draw off the contained contents. Oil floats upward so use the natural tendency of it to solve the problem rather than fixating on capping it right now.

      June 4, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      despite the optimistic claims BP has clearly FAILED again to stop the oil spill, since, 45 days after and four different methods adopted, also the "cap" used this night hasn't solved the problem, because, only 1000 barrels (or less than 5% of the 20,000 barrels spewed every day from the BP well) is now collected by the cap's top pipe, while, now, BP aims (read: "hopes") to contain "90%" of the oil leak (that STILL gushes copiously from the cap bottom and will increase very much when the four vents atop the "containment" cap will be closed) but, also assuming the leak will fall to 10-30%, it, anyway, means, that several millions more gallons will be spilled in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic ocean, until the new well will finished in mid-August (as "promised" by BP...) to divert the oil flux from the damaged well
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      well, despite I'm SURE that BP still won't listen any suggestion from me or other, I've developed a further, cheap and simple idea to quickly CLOSE the wellhead and to STOP NOW up to 100% of the oil leak, and NOT only the expected/hoped "90%" using the (current) BP's "cap" system
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      my new idea (shown in the image below) uses a TRUE cap (without any kind of pipe to gather the oil) to be inserted in the cutted riser on the top of the wellhead to (finally and completely) CLOSE it
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      http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
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      June 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustSumGuyTX

      I wonder if anyone considered injecting sea water into the Blowout Preventer during the "Top Kill" attempt.

      According to the results from the first containment dome, ice-like methane hydrate crystals formed inside the dome when sea water came into contact with the leaking gas. Besides the fact that this phenomenon caused the dome to become buoyant, it also effectively clogged the siphon hose connected at the top that was meant to carry oil (and gas) to tanker ships waiting on the surface. Maybe I'm over-simplifying this, but it sure seems more reasonable than golf balls.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tater

      This is what really gets me going. There was an article yesterday that BP was using a solvent to dispurse the oil. This solvent is much much more toxic than the oil. The government told BP to use something else that they had recommended but BP replied back, "no. It doesnt work as well as what we are using now". So here is my argument. How does anyone think that the government has so much power to stop this when BP can tell them no. If I were to set a bucket of oil on fire in my yard, the police and other forms of government would come, fine me, and force me to put it out. BP is able to tell the government no? Sounds to me like the government should grow a set.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Annette P

      If Congress didn't make them drill so far off the coast in miles deep of water, we would not have this problem. It would have been fixed a long time ago!!!

      June 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      @BreakingNews

      Zero science (CHECK)
      Zero math (CHECK)
      Zero calculations (CHECK)
      Zero facts (CHECK)
      Zero research (CHECK)
      5 year old imagination with a crayon (CHECK)
      No education (CHECK)
      Poor English (CHECK)
      Can't spell Oxygen (CHECK)
      Crappy idea that BP, US Gov, any government, any company won't take (CHECK)
      Ugly website (CHECK)
      Spam (CHECK)
      Someone who doesn't know how to skip lines and puts idiotic periods (CHECK)

      you are a complete joke. Get an education first.

      And we all know you are a joke::
      Marano, Gaetano
      Via Ambrogio Arabia 11-D
      Cosenza, CS 87100
      Italy
      +39.3296080801

      For the record I'm not defending BP. I just think BreakingNews is an idiot. So does everyone else.

      July 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      .
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      I've proposed to change the failed containment cap with a bigger version over FIVE WEEKS AGO here:
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      ghostnasa.com/posts2/070oilspillsolution.html
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      and several times on the Deepwater Horizon Facebook page and dozens blogs!
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      WHY have they lost FIVE WEEKS to make a new cap???
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      and, most important, WHY hasn't BP used its Genesis GXP 2500 giant idraulic shears to stop the oil spill in the EARLY DAYS of May?????????????????????????????????
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      July 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      the BP test has clearly shown, that, the BOP and everything under the BOP, have had NO oil leaking (since, both, was made, by design, to resist to very high oil pressures) while the wellhead top has been completely closed by the new containment cap (whose MAIN PURPOSE isn't to close the wellhead, but, later, to collect and pump up the oil and SELL it...) and, that, was PERFECTLY KNOW by BP also BEFORE this test
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      THAT is what I've ALWAYS SAID in last TWO MONTHS in my article about the oil spill:
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      http://www.ghostnasa.com/posts2/070oilspillsolution.html
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      so, WHY hasn't BP used a modified version of its giant Genesis GXP 2500 idraulic shears (or the containment cap used now) to do the SAME THING but TWO MONTHS AGO and BEFORE the terrific disaster in the Gulf ?????????????????
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      could FBI and the Press INVESTIGATE on that, instead of CLOSE their eyes ????????????
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      July 16, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      BP hasn't made any "error" since they have (simply) adopted (fron the day #1) ONLY (failed) methods aimed to stop the oil spill but (always) ALSO collectl, pump up and sell its oil the next day!!!!
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      July 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      SCOOP: The tool able to stop the oil spill in the early days of May!!! http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-472981
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      July 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Luis Malagon

    this goes to prove that there is no oil shortage, due the math this leak is pumping close to 200 million gallons a day that means they where pumping less then what they could to bring up the price to fill their pockets. they should pay heavy fine just like we have paid them to fill their pockets.

    May 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lindsey

    I agree, we need a better option. If I had a leaky faucet or a broken pipe, it wouldn't take me 37 days to find a solution. This sends a better message: http://bit.ly/caNJ8j profits will go to clean-up.

    May 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      Lindsey, what this says is that maybe they should stop pointing fingers and join together for the sake of the economy and the willdlife that is being affected here.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Littlered

      Underwater detonation is the way to go. All of these other attempts are aimed at keeping the well alive for future access to the oil deposit. Implode it. That's what the military needs to do. Every time BP comes up with another experimental procedure all I hear is "this will allow us to collect the oil....." Underwater explosives. That's it, that's all.

      June 2, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Greg, Ontario

    They will pay for everything for the next 20 years to clean up the damage. Then the people whose lives were ruined will die off and as they raise the price of Oil to rebuild finances lost there will be nobody to complain. This Oil leak is a bigger attack on America then 9/11 or the illegals sneaking into the country from Mexico. It will cost you billions of dollars in tourism money. The effects on the environment haven't even started yet, it will leave a scar on the face of America for decades and all you can do is try to find a way to tie all of it to President Obama? You people amaze me sometimes.

    May 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • slipwrench

      They amaze me too. It's easy to pass the buck, but to acknowledge your failure.....no way!

      June 2, 2010 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • northendbob

      If only Bush had not caused thew darn Hurricane Katrina, oh thats right, he just got blamed for all of it.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • northendbob

      If only Bush had not caused that darn Hurricane Katrina, oh thats right, he just got blamed for all of it.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Easy Greg. You People? Many are freaking out about this disaster and offering discussion topics, no need to turn it into bash America. You sound like you are in grade school.

      June 2, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      America dose suck! This is terrible!

      June 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Damiao

    We cannot count the damage, the enviroment, fauna and flora, that's it...http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com

    May 26, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brenton Wolf

      It seems to mark the beginning where we need to wake up from our addictions and start thinking about what we are doing because if we destroy the ocean then the planet and civilization will be dead- forever

      May 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. william graham

    please comment and share, thank you "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYrWUGEOFjg"

    May 26, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Perry

    Sorry, I missed the part where anyone is trying to pin this on Obama. I think this is a little more than a "Leaky Faucet"

    May 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Damiao

    Welcome to visit my website blog. http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com I am developing a project in order to teach for free to children and teenagers thank you very much for your help advance.

    May 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brenton Wolf

    Why don't they drop giant sand bags on and around the leak and then start dropping heavy mud, sand and stone- still allowing ye containment tube to syphon excess oil and to avert pressure that could cause an even bigger explosion this could help contain and minimize even further until relief well is complete or or valve can be activated

    May 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ART

    WHY DIDN'T THEY TRY TO SAVE THE OIL BY SLIDING A LARGER PIPE OVER THE TUBE AS A GUIDE, PUSH IT OVER THE GUSHING STUB, CLAMP IT DOWN WITH THE ROBOTS, AND ALLOW THE OIL TO TRAVEL UP THE PIPE TO THE SURFACE INTO A TANKER . WOUDN'T THIS BE THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS? STOP THE LEAK AND SAVE THE OIL!. THEN REMOVE THE CENTER TUBE TO OPEN UP THE NEW PIPE . WHY NOT?

    May 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Because: They would need a tube stack about a mile high to reach the bottom, stabilized against ocean currents. Then they would need access to all the busted stuff inside the big riser tube to continue (trying) to fix the leak. Then, after all that was accomplished and underway, along would come Hurricane Barack (just kidding) – right up the channel from Cuba – to destroy the whole works and there we are, right back where we started.

      June 1, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jed Davis

    I think that you should not be up set with BP reps. actions to the press, the fact of the matter is that the press has the tendices to get in the way and pervent people from doing the job that is needed. If you guys would stay the hell out of the way then they would get more done in less time. So in short, there is an amount of time in delays caused by the press. I have been watching CNN for over two hours today on this BP problem, and in this time I have not heard anything that is telling how I can help or what I can do. Why do you all not give the viewers that kind of info???

    May 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ART

    IF THEY CAN PUT A TUBE INSIDE THE BROKEN STUB, THEN THEY COULD GUIDE THE NEW LARGER PIPE OVER AND AROUND THE TUBE TO THE STUB TO CLAMP TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE STUB. THEN BY REOVING THE INSIDE TUBE, THAT STOPPED WORKING, THEY WOULD THEN HAVE A CLEAR PIPE TO THE TOP WITH NO HOLES!!!! SAVE THE OIL, STOP THE LEAK. ATTATCH A NEW PIPE TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE GUSSING STUB. HHMMMMMM DOES ANYONE KNOW WHY THAT WOULD NOT WORK?

    May 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Smith in Oregon

    The Hero and Darling of the Republican Party, former President George W. Bush speaking before an audience of entranced ardent Republican boosters and neo-cons at the Dallas Convention Center today who had gathered at the American Wind Energy Association meeting stated, 'It's in our economic interests that we diversify AWAY from oil' and 'It's in our environmental interest'. The former Texas Oilman and member of a longtime Oil family finished his speech stating 'It's in our national security interest'.

    The Republican party now has their marching orders. Perhaps they'll stop bashing former Vice President Al Gore over his insistence for America to move away from Oil for the past 20 years.

    The MAJORITY in America expects the Republican party lawmakers, leaders and members to now follow your Hero's advice and help move America AWAY from Oil.

    May 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ruffnutt

    why couldnt they go down to sears and get a big shop vac and use that?

    or get christy alley and have here sit on it?

    May 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • slipwrench

      Good thought!

      June 2, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Littlered

      "Shop Vac"???? That's awesome!!! I'll bet that will be the next solution. I'll be watching to hear Tony Face say "Our next option, the deep sea shop vac (DSSV) has a 60% probability of success. This should be much more effective than LMNOP, excuse me, I meant to say LMNRP. " This is ridiculous. When are they going to use underwater explosives and implode this thing?

      June 2, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Eleanore

      I LOVE the Kristy Alley Idea! TRUE THAT!

      June 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Stephen Cox

    3 months to drill a relief well!! Shame on BP?!! All drill platforms must be required to drill a relief well at the same time as they drill the main well!

    May 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
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