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May 27, 2010

'Top kill' succeeds in plugging Gulg oil leak

Topics: National News, Political News and commentaries

Top kill.jpg
Five weeks for the BP oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, the leak has successfully been plugged - at least for now:

Engineers have at least temporarily stopped the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from a gushing BP well, the federal government's top oil-spill commander, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said Thursday morning.

The "top kill" effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting. The top kill effort is not complete, officials caution.

Once engineers had reduced the well pressure to zero, they were to begin pumping cement into the hole to entomb the well. To help in that effort, he said, engineers also were pumping some debris into the blowout preventer at the top of the well.

We can now expect the Obama administration to begin making knee-jerk decisions aimed at halting offshore drilling, ignoring the fact that the Deepwater Horrizon rig is an exception, not the norm:
During its nine years at sea, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig operated by BP suffered a series of spills, fires -- even a collision -- because of equipment failure, human error and bad weather. It also drilled the world's deepest offshore well.

[...] What likely destroyed the rig in a ball of fire last week was a failure -- or multiple failures -- 5,000 feet below. That's where drilling equipment met the sea bed in a complicated construction of pipes, concrete and valves that gave way in a manner that no one has yet been able to explain.

Read more ...

Related: Live-Blogging Obama Presser: Broad New Limits on Drilling

Image credit: Reuters / May 27, 2010

Posted by Richard at May 27, 2010 1:38 PM



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