Gallery: BP Oil Pipe is Cut, “Top Hat” Containment Cap in Place


We’ve come to the point where we’re pretty darn pessimistic about almost any supposed advancements in the BP oil spill saga – but as of yesterday, there seems to be some actual good news. According to Admiral Thad W. Allen, who is overseeing the federal response to the disaster, a key riser pipe at the Deepwater Horizon site was successfully cut yesterday, meaning that we are one crucial step closer to capping off and containing the leak. Not everything went smoothly though – read on to see what has officials worried about this still fragile, but momentous progress.

UPDATE: As of last night, technicians were able to go one step further and actually get the containment cap or “top hat” in place. On NBC’s Today Show this morning, BP’s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, confirmed that oil has started flowing up the pipe from the cap, but that we would have to wait until later in the day to see how much is actually being diverted.

Originally, the plan was to use a fine diamond-laced wire saw to execute the cut in order to make the edge as clean as possible. However, halfway through the procedure, the diamond saw was not able to complete its tast and officials decided to go ahead and use a 20 ft long and almost 10 ft high shear instead.

Because the shear was not as precise as the diamond-laced saw, the edge on the cut is more jagged than officials had hoped meaning that a containment cap will not be as snug and will have to be altered to fit.
“The next 12 to 24 hours will give us an indication of how successful the attempt will be,” said Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP at a press conference.

Via NY Times and NPR


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  1. Catering Clawson March 6, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Seriously worthwhile write-up. Pay attention

  2. Gulf Oil Cap Back On Af... June 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

    […] robot bumping into a vent at the Deepwater Horizon site in the Gulf forced BP to remove the cap that’s been containing a portion of the spillage – meaning that oil was gushing out […]

  3. manny June 8, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Whether the latest attempts to cap the well manage to stem the flow or not, what is being done to the Gulf of Mexico is an appalling crime of negligence. Shareholders should not be complaining about the Obama administration’s rhetoric. They should have been demanding improved safety procedures to prevent such a disaster from occurring

  4. samej26 June 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    My name is John Heed.(samej26@live .com),..I’ve recently experienced what I feel is a really great “brainstorm of an idea” for containment re the oillspill,which may even enhance the utilization of BP’s “Geo-Dome” next step. I’ve seen these funnel shaped oddities in local canals,streams,and small rivers,used,I believe,to capture serious flotsam.These huge rotating devices implement a small DC-motor,or are propelled themselves via existing currents,often greatly perforated ,as well, to accomodate flow and bouyancy parameters….My idea was ,for Bp’s engineers to fabricate many hundreds of these in both submergable,and surface configurations, (note: materials used could incorporate very inexpensive,and various modalities for form and structure requierments),with perhaps varying design applications to vary the rate of spin ,per current and other considerations that would be involved,with particular attention to detail re removable “absorbtion-media”,(such as “trailing flagella”,absorbtion cups,etc).

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