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BP Launches “Top Kill” Tactic to Plug the Gulf Oil Spill

Posted By Brit Liggett On May 26, 2010 @ 11:45 am In Disaster-proof design,Water Issues | 8 Comments

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Today BP will launch their “Top Kill” tactic – an attempt to plug the 5 story tall tower of pipes at the source of the Gulf oil leak with a massive amount of heavy liquids. The injection of drilling fluids will come from a 30,000 horsepower boat floating above the leaking well while robots on the ocean floor assist. Before setting out on this latest quest to stop one of the largest oil spills in history [1] they cautioned that this had never been tried underwater and then they warned that it might not work. Thanks for the heads up, BP.

deepwater horizon, oil spill, gulf, of mexico, gulf of mexico oil spill, gulf oil spill, top kill, top hat, junk shot, bp, solutions

We’ve got to say, BP is lacking in the naming department. The “top hat” [2] failed, the “junk shot” [3] failed and now we’ve got the “top kill” — which we are equally unsure about. We keep coming back to what we first said [4] about the oil spill [5] every time BP announces a new plan — this mess could have been controlled if the oil industry had spent even a small amount of cash on solving problems like these before they happen.

The company noted on Sunday that engineers were doing test runs of the “top kill” in preparation for their actual performance this week. This technique has been tried before above ground — it was used to successfully stop the Kuwaiti oil wells from spewing after they were sabotaged by the Iraqi army at the end of the Persian Gulf War. BP has recruited a few members of the team that were involved in that operation to help with this week’s plug. Although definitely under different circumstances — 5,000 feet of water — it will be helpful to have some veterans available. Officials say if this works, they’ll clog the oil with a mound of concrete and replace the faulty blowout preventer. They also said this well will never be used again for production. We’d say we’ll cross our fingers for this procedure to work, but they’re getting pretty tired after a month of failed solutions [6].

Via The New York Times [7]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/bp-launches-top-kill-tactic-to-plug-the-gulf-oil-spill/

URLs in this post:

[1] largest oil spills in history: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=gulf+oil+spill

[2] “top hat”: http://inhabitat.com/2010/05/10/bp-considers-other-options-after-oil-containment-cap-fails/

[3] “junk shot”: http://inhabitat.com/2010/05/11/bp-to-try-junk-shot-to-halt-the-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill/

[4] what we first said: http://inhabitat.com/2010/05/03/how-obama-could-use-the-gulf-oil-disaster-to-buoy-renewable-energy/

[5] oil spill: http://inhabitat.com/?s=gulf+oil+spill

[6] solutions: http://inhabitat.com/2010/05/05/top-5-green-ways-to-clean-up-oil-spills/

[7] The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/us/27spill.html?ref=science

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