News / USA

BP Lowers Dome Over Broken Oil Well

Dome designed to trap oil spill
Dome designed to trap oil spill
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid