After its containment cap filled with ice-like crystals and failed to stop the flow of oil, BP has been scrambling to come up with new solutions to the Deepwater Horizon leak. And we hope they find a remedy soon–the damaged oil rig spews more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day! On the table now are strategies involving a “top hat” and a tube.
BP is considering inserting a six-inch tube into the riser pipe, the pipe that carried oil from the well to the Deepwater Horizon rig. Another potential solution is a “top hat” containment cap. While BP’s 98-ton containment cap failed because it filled with natural gas hydrates (ice-like crystals that form when water and natural gas are under high pressure) designers are more hopeful about the smaller, two-ton top hat. The smaller design means the device is less likely to get clogged.
BP may use one strategy or the other – or a combination of both. The company will likely make a decision on the matter today or tomorrow.
Even if the top hat and/or tube fix the leak, there’s still the matter of repairing the blowout preventer. This device was supposed to stop the uncontrolled flow of oil from the well, but was found to be faulty.