News / USA

BP Asks For Patience As It Tries to Plug Ruptured Well

Workers along the US Gulf of Mexico try to clean up the oil coming ashore from the ruptured well.
Workers along the US Gulf of Mexico try to clean up the oil coming ashore from the ruptured well.
Nico Colombant

BP's chief operating officer is asking for patience as robots, mud and assorted junk are used in its attempt to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles says metal pieces and rubber balls are being shot into the well off the Louisiana coast, in addition to heavy mud and fluids, to try to stop the leak in an operation that has been going on since Wednesday.

He said it could be Sunday or later before it becomes clear if the operation known as a "top-kill" is successful. "This job is a very critical operation. If it takes longer, we will let it take longer. We are not going to rusk it because it is too important.  And as long as we believe it will work, we will stay with it.  We do not have a set timeline to say, 'if we have not achieved a certain thing in 24 hours, we are going to quit', that is not the way we look at this operation. So as long as we believe it can be successful, we will continue to go," he said.

There are no reports of a "top-kill" ever being attempted so deep, at about 1,500 meters underwater.  There also has never been a similar operation watched this closely.  

Under pressure from the U.S. Congress, BP has made available a live video transmission of what is going on.  Several thousand websites are showing the feed.  

At the press conference in Louisiana late Friday, Suttles underlined the difficulty of the task for BP's engineers. "We are doing things that are very difficult to do.  They are on the bottom of the seabed and you can imagine. We will look at a particular job and think, 'we can perform it in two hours', sometimes it takes four.  Some of the jobs that we think we can do in half a day take a day because we are using these robotic submarines. People cannot go down there and do this and many of the things we have done have never been done before," he said.

Scientists said the video seemed to indicate BP was gaining ground, as mud now seemed to be coming out of the well, rather than mostly oil or gas, but they also said it was too early to tell if the operation would succeed.

The U.S. government estimates between 70 and 150 million liters of oil have already gushed out since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20. The rupture initially killed 11 workers and is now causing environmental degradation in surrounding waters and coastlines.

President Barack Obama has said BP will be held accountable for damages.  The U.S. president, who inspected areas of the Gulf coast Friday, also said the largest clean-up in U.S. history was underway.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid