Brit Liggett

"Top Kill" Procedure Seems to be Working on the Gulf Oil Spill

by , 05/28/10

deepwater horizon, bp, oil spill, gulf oil spill, gulf coast, halliburton, obama, coast guard, oil spill solutions

An announcement was made on Thursday that BP’s latest crazily named tactic — the “top kill” which we reported on earlier this week — seems to be working to stop the flow of oil the Gulf of Mexico. They initiated the plan yesterday, which involved shooting a dense liquid at high pressures into the five story tall drill pipes on the ocean floor, slowing the flow of oil and then plugging the hole with cement. It didn’t sound too promising a plan to us but according to reports, the drilling structure has been successfully blocked and the flow of oil stopped. If they are able to plug the oil with cement it will be deemed a success.

deepwater horizon, bp, oil spill, gulf oil spill, gulf coast, halliburton, obama, coast guard, oil spill solutions

A lot of developments have been announced in the last few days regarding the spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The head of the agency that is in charge of overseeing offshore drilling, S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, resigned. The official estimate of the leak is now four times as high as initially suspected. Governor Bobby Jindal’s fake islands — which we wrote about earlier in the crises — were approved. President Obama also fielded questions at a press conference Thursday afternoon and firmly defended the administration’s response to the spill. He told those in attendance, “Those who think we were either slow on the response or lacked urgency, don’t know the facts,” he added, “this has been our highest priority.”

The “top kill” operation is expected to continue until late on Friday when BP will be able to officially announce whether they were able to successfully plug the well. BP continued to fill the drilling pipes with heavy liquid — mostly mud — into Thursday evening and reports were that it was building up in the structure and in the well. With enough weight the oil will be locked underground and the well will be plugged. The Coast Guard was the first to make the proclamation that things were going well, while BP remained tight lipped on whether they had been successful — or not.

+ Inhabitat coverage of the Gulf oil spill

+ More information on the New York Times

Via Fast Company

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