News / USA

BP Lowers Dome Over Broken Oil Well

Dome designed to trap oil spill
Dome designed to trap oil spill

Engineers for BP oil company are working to position an oil containment dome on top of a broken well in the Gulf of Mexico to stop a three-week-old leak. Experts are hopeful, but say the technique has never been tried before on a deepwater spill.

Engineers on Friday began lowering the containment dome into the Gulf of Mexico, where submersible robots are helping to position it over the leaking well. BP officials hope the massive concrete and steel structure will provide a temporary fix for the leak, which has been pouring an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil a day into the gulf. A more permanent fix, which involves drilling a new well, is also underway.

BP's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, says it is a delicate job to place the dome without causing new damage to the well site. "They have lowered it just to the side of where the leak is, and they will be swinging it over. They have to precisely lower it over the leak point because the tolerances are quite tight," he said.

Once the dome is in place, crews plan to attach a pipe and funnel oil into a tanker ship on the water's surface.

Experts say containment domes have been used before to cap undersea oil leaks, but never on a well that is one and a half kilometers under water. The well was connected to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which caught fire and sank three weeks ago, killing 11 workers.

Meanwhile, clean-up work continues across the Gulf of Mexico. Emergency crews are skimming oil in areas of heavy concentration as well as burning oil on the surface of the water.

BP's Suttles says the burns have proven very useful at minimizing the environmental damage from the oil. "We estimate that we burned between 7,000 to 9,000 barrels of oil. This is quite substantial and we have demonstrated this is a very powerful technique and when the weather is good it will continue, which we expect for the next two days," he said.

U.S. officials have extended a temporary ban on fishing, as they track the oil spill and its impact on wildlife. They say the ban covers less than five percent of U.S. federal waters in the gulf, but scores of fishermen say it has put them out of work.

Emergency crews have confirmed that oil has washed ashore in two areas along the Louisiana coast. Wildlife officials say one spot is the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to brown pelicans and several other bird species.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid