Thursday, May 27, 2010

'Top Kill' a Success, Halts Flow of Oil into the Gulf

BP and the US government are both claiming that the experimental process known as "top kill" appears to have been a success. The process involved dumping mud into the broken pipe, effectively snuffing out the spewing of oil into the Gulf.

Engineers have succeeded in stopping the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from a gushing BP well, the federal government’s top oil spill commander, Adm. Thad Allen, said Thursday morning.

The so-called “top kill” effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers in Houston, has pumped enough drilling fluid to block all oil and gas from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well is very low, but persistent, he said.

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

Continue reading...

Scientists have deemed the spill the worst in US history -- exceeding that of the infamous Exxon Valdez.

Even using the most conservative estimate, that means the leak has grown to nearly 19 million gallons over the past five weeks, surpassing the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, which at about 11 million gallons had been the nation's worst spill. Under the highest Gulf spill estimate, nearly 39 million gallons may have leaked, enough to fill 30 school gymnasiums.

Now comes the massive task of cleaning up the spill. And who knows how long that effort will take...

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