BP’ s “Top Kill” Not Working
BP’s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, says efforts to stem the oil flow with mud and junk shots isn’t working.
Estimated by BP to hold 50 million barrels, the seam of oil has emptied as much as 740,000 barrels (one barrel is 42 gallons), or about 1.5 percent of the total. Because of the immense pressures of the earth’s innards, geologists say, the deposit will completely unload into the Gulf unless the Deepwater Horizon well is capped.
Another back-up plan in the works is to place a second blowout preventer on top of the one that failed after a “kick” of gas exploded on the Deepwater Horizon on April 20, killing 11 and causing the nation’s worst-ever oil spill disaster.
The most certain way to stop the leak is the drilling of a relief well that would take pressure off the main wellhead and allow BP to cap it with cement.
That work is underway, but could take another 60 days or more to complete. Using the higher estimates, by then up to another 1.2 million barrels of oil could have leaked out, putting the total at nearly 2 million barrels. The Exxon Valdez spilled 257,000 barrels. At the current rate, emptying the entire Macondo deposit would take just over 7 years.Click here for reuse options!
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