BP Continues With Top-Kill and Junk-Shot, But Success Doubtful

May 29, 2010

(ChattahBox)—-Golf balls, tires, mud and a so-called top hat: So far nothing has worked to stop the flow of crude oil and gas leaking from BP’s underwater oil well in the Gulf. When visiting the devastated region of Louisiana on Friday, President Obama pointed out the frustrating lack of solutions to end the continuing environmental disaster. “There are going to be a lot of judgment calls here. There are not going to be silver bullets or perfect answers,” said Obama.

BP resumed the “top kill” procedure, forcing drilling mud into the damaged well, with the aim of plugging the leak. But after initial positive statements about the procedure’s success, BP officials now admit the results are disappointing. The “top kill” effort was stopped on Friday, while engineers tried two “junk shots” filled with golf balls and rubber tires. The “top kill” procedure will continue through Sunday.

According to the New York Times, the mood is grim in BP’s command center:

“The technician said that despite all the injections, at various pressure levels, engineers had been able to keep less than 10 percent of the injection fluids inside the stack of pipes above the well. He said that was barely an improvement on the results Wednesday, when the operation began and was suspended after about 10 hours. “I won’t say progress was zero, but I don’t know if we can round up enough mud to make it work,” said another technician on the project. “Everyone is disappointed at this time.”’

BP officials plan to attempt another second containment vessel or “top hat” procedure, in the event the injections of mud, golf balls and tires fail. And at this point, it doesn’t look good.

See The New York Times for more.

Photo Source: White House Flickr


5 Responses to “BP Continues With Top-Kill and Junk-Shot, But Success Doubtful”

  1. senad on May 29th, 2010 3:38 pm

    it is not a big deal to stop that oil, you only need someone like me to stop it, because I was thinking last few days how to stop that disaster, and I have found a solution…

  2. MrsD on May 29th, 2010 7:34 pm

    By Erika Bolstad | McClatchy Newspapers
    BP has abandoned its most recent “top kill” effort to contain its well, a company official announced Saturday evening.

    “After three full days, we have been unable to overcome the flow,” said the company’s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles.

    In its next effort to halt what its officials have called an “environmental catastrophe,” BP will cut off the leaking riser at the top of the five-story blowout preventer atop the wellhead to get an even surface on the broken pipe.

    Then the company will install what’s called a lower marine riser package, a cap containment system that would be connected to a new riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship 5,000 feet above on the surface. The aim is to minimize the amount of oil reaching the shore until BP can drill relief wells, Suttles said.

    He estimated that the procedure would take about four days to complete, but if it also fails, it could be several months before BP can finish drilling two relief wells to intersect the runaway well. During that time, millions more gallons of crude oil could contaminate the Gulf of Mexico, poison wildlife, destroy fragile marshlands, close fishing grounds and deprive fisherman, resort workers and many others of their livelihoods.

    Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said officials were disappointed that the top kill method failed, but added that the Coast Guard and BP are still fighting to keep the oil from reaching the shoreline.

    “It’s a little bit of a roller coaster ride for everyone,” she said. “Obviously, we’ve said we’ve had to prepare for a worst-case scenario from day one, that this could fail totally and release a tremendous amount more than it is releasing now.”

    After three days in which BP said it pumped more than 30,000 barrels of drilling lubricant known as mud into the runaway wells blowout preventer, BP engineers determined that it was time to try something else, Suttles said.

    He said the decision was made in consultation with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secrtary Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics.

    Engineers had hoped that the drilling mud pumped into the blowout preventer using the top kill method would block the crude oil and gas from spewing out of the damaged wellhead and blowout preventer.

    However, from the beginning technicians said that most of the mud flowed right back out, along with the oil and natural gas. BP halted pumping the mud for an extended period within hours after it began on Wednesday, and in the ensuing days, it also pumped debris into the blowout preventer in hopes of blocking leaks and allowing the mud to accumulate. Those efforts apparently failed, too.

    Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/29/95060/reports-bp-to-announce-top-kill.html#ixzz0pMbK06JH

  3. hawthorne on May 30th, 2010 4:24 am

    Another hope is dead. In the night had to Doug Suttles, BP-operations at the crash site in the Gulf of Mexico, at a press conference to admit that you do not have the so-called top-kill method, the gusher can close.

    Three days long you’ve tried everything, but in the end did not work, the top-kill method, BP said the manager. Almost five million liters of mud they had pumped into the ragged hole, at the end of the attempts were in vain.

    It’s getting worse, I do not know how it will end.

  4. New Meaning to the Phrase “Live Streaming” « earthdharma.org on May 30th, 2010 11:54 am

    […] that they hope will  convey to onlookers some degree of confidence while the professionals dump old tires, golf balls, and mud into the hole to plug the leak. I’m unsurprised completely that top kill has failed. Try to plug an open […]

  5. bcpowersports on March 8th, 2011 2:57 pm

    Yes there is nothing we can do to reverse those effects, all we can do is learn from our mistakes and never make them again, but when big oil companies are involved there is no hope

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