News / USA

    BP Starts Operation to Stop Oil Leak

    'Top Kill' procedure aimed at stopping the flow of oil from a sunken oil rig into the Gulf of Mexico
    'Top Kill' procedure aimed at stopping the flow of oil from a sunken oil rig into the Gulf of Mexico

    BP oil company is pumping heavy mud into a leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, but officials say it is very early into the procedure, known as "top kill,".  Company officials say it may be two days before they know if the technique is successful.

    BP crews began pumping heavy mud late Wednesday from a set of surface vessels about 80 kilometers off the shore of Louisiana. The mud flows down through tubes to the well head, 1.5 kilometers below the surface, and pushes against oil that is escaping from the well. The goal is to reverse the flow of oil, enabling crews to pump concrete to seal off the well.

    Several hours into the work, BP's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, said the job was proceeding as planned. He said crews had pumped 7,000 barrels of heavy mud so far, and would continue pumping until they regain control of the well.

    "We expect these activities to be complete sometime over the next 24 hours, but I would stress this could take longer," he said.  "We are going to make sure we do the job right and thoroughly."

    BP has deployed several large vessels and a fleet of remote controlled submarines to help stop the oil leak. A video feed from one of the submarines showed the color of the material escaping the well head changed shortly after the so-called top kill procedure began. Suttles said the video suggested that mud was flowing into the well as planned, but it was too early to know more.

    "The way we will know the job has been successful is when we monitor the well and recognize that it is not flowing, it is no longer flowing. And we will be doing that by monitoring the pressure and the visual observations, but most importantly the pressure data which we are monitoring continuously," said Suttles.

    Clean-up crews are continuing the massive task of skimming oil from water in the Gulf of Mexico and scraping oil off beaches in Louisiana. Doug Suttles said so far the oil spill had hit about 160 kilometers of U.S. coastline and 12 hectares of marshland.

    The federal coordinator for the spill, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said she is hopeful about shutting off the oil leak, but clean-up work poses a long-term challenge.

    "Even if declared successful, I want to emphasize we will still be here fighting the spill response, making sure this region is made whole, and its people are made whole," said Landry.

    U.S. officials have closed 20 percent of federal fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the spill. Fishermen in Louisiana and other affected areas are pressing BP to compensate them for the losses to their business.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora