BP is trying a technique called top kill to plug the Gulf Coast oil leak
What is Top kill?
The top kill is a pretty amazing thing. It was devised over the past month by BP, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Energy Department, and the Minerals Management Service. It centers around the Helix Q4000 surface platform and encompasses three ships full of mud, one of which is the 381-foot HOS Centerline, one of the largest supply ships in the world. The process is somewhat involved, but it comes down to this: The Centerline uses 30,000-hp pump to shove between 40 to 50 barrels of mud per minute over to the Q4000, which then diverts it down to the leaking BOP through a mile-long pipe. The mud is stuffed into the well at such a rate that it overcomes the gushing oil, forcing the leak to taper and the well to become static. A concrete cap is then applied, sealing the leak permanently.
Will it work?
Greg McCormack, director of the Petroleum Extension Service at the University of Texas at Austin, said he's cautiously optimistic that the top kill will work, saying: "There's always a trade-off between making it better and making it worse. This probably has the least amount of risk of making it worse."
The danger is that the top kill could worsen the situation. The powerful injection of mud might destabilize the blowout preventer, or punch a bigger hole in the sharp kink in the riser just a few feet above the blowout preventer. If the mud doesn't beat back the spill, that could mean a mess of mud mixed with a larger flow of oil and gas.
You guys should have seen Mr. Obama at his Presidential meeting today. He was being flooded with tons of question on this matter. Still I am not really concerned, The Oil is not affecting alabama that much and it seems it might stay that way.
Top kill has failed !!!
If you were looking at the feed on friday till sunday, you would have seen that the mud stuff stopped flowing out and the oil started back up again. Well over the last few days, BP officially gave up on the top kill and said they were moving to another method to try and stop the leak
The Petroleum Company have tried various methods to stop the leak or alleviate the damage and it is up in the air what they will try next.
- They tried the oil dome thing
- They tried the Top hat thing
- They are actually now able to siphon off a percentage of the leaking oil even though it is only about 25% of it
- They have set up about 3 million feet of boom(about 1 million meters) in the gulf
- They have dumped such a huge amount of dispersant into the gulf that the EPA is now on their tail to switch dispersant's or at least stop using as much(As if the EPA doesn't have bigger things to worry about in the gulf)
- The current news is that they have succesfully cut the pipe and with their cap of sort to plugging the leak, they are able to get about hambyaku percent of the oil.
BP says it’s already preparing for the next attempt to stop the leak. Under the new plan, BP would use robot submarines to cut off the damaged riser from which the oil is leaking, and then try to cap it with a containment valve. The new attempt would take four days to complete.
- You have to remember that there is the last resort i.e. the relief well which is two months away but by that time alot of oil will have leaked and nobody wants that.