News / USA

BP Has New Plan to Contain Oil Spill

Oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico
Oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico

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BP is planning a new line of attack to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after efforts to plug the leak using mud and cement failed.  The so called  "top kill" procedure was declared a failure Saturday, prompting company officials to talk about a new technique. There's no guarantee the new plan will work and experts say it could temporarily increase the amount of oil spilling into the gulf.  

Six weeks and six failed attempts later to contain the worst oil spill in US history, BP says it will try again.

On ABC News, BP managing director Bob Dudley said underwater robots will move in to saw off the top of the broken pipe.

"We're going to go in and put a cap on it and we'll be able to produce the fluids [the oil] and the next step is to make sure that we minimize the oil and pollution going into the Gulf," said Bob Dudley.

But experts say the plan will temporarily increase the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf.

White House energy advisor Carol Browner on CBS News:

"When they cut the riser, our experts are telling us it may be as much as 20 percent more oil," said Carol Browner.

The U.S. government estimates between 70 and 150 million liters of oil have already spilled into the Gulf, much larger than BP's earlier estimates.

Democratic strategist and Louisiana resident James Carville:

"I know this: every piece of information we have gotten to the size of this, or things that were going to work, none of it has turned out to be true," said Carville.

Some say the military should take over operations to stop the spill.  But the Pentagon's top commander, Admiral Mike Mullen says the private sector has the greater expertise.

"In fact, the technology that the… the best technology in the world with respect to that, exists in the oil industry," said Admiral Mullen.

BP CEO Tony Hayward apologized again for delays and missteps.  He insisted the company is doing everything possible to contain the spill.

"We are doing everything we can to contain the oil offshore, defend the shoreline and return people's lives to normal as fast as we can," said Hayward.

The White House says it is preparing for the worst.  Experts say the most effective solution involves drilling relief wells to reroute oil, a process that could take months.

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