News / USA

BP Installs Cap on Leaking Oil Well

ROV (remote operated vehicle) control room on board the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise, 02 Jun 2010
ROV (remote operated vehicle) control room on board the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise, 02 Jun 2010

BP oil company has installed a containment cap on a damaged oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to capture leaking oil. Engineers are adjusting the tool to collect as much oil as possible from the well.

BP engineers lowered the cap overnight into place onto the broken oil well 1.5 kilometers under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. The device is fitted with a rubber gasket that engineers hope will create a seal, so crews can siphon the oil and natural gas into a surface ship.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing the operation, said crews began collecting oil overnight at a rate of about 1,000 barrels a day. He said they are working to adjust the pressure in the collection tube to capture more.

"By keeping the pressure down and producing the gas and oil, there is less of a need to have the oil seek another way out through the seals," said Admiral Allen. "We're looking for an effective way to deal with the flow."

Allen said crews must find a delicate balance that allows them to collect as much as oil as possible without drawing sea water into the tube. An earlier effort to place a cap over the leaking well failed last month, when sea water clogged the flow of oil.

The latest operation follows a series of failed efforts to cap the oil leak, which started some six weeks ago when a drill rig exploded and sank. Before placing the cap, BP engineers used remote-controlled submarines to cut off a damaged pipe in the well, which experts say was likely to increase the flow of oil about 20 percent.

Admiral Thad Allen said the operation posed a risk, but one that was needed to try to capture the leaking oil.

"We are seeing a lot of oil there, but it should start to diminish as we close the valves and go into production today," he said.

President Barack Obama is visiting Louisiana Friday to meet with local officials as they struggle to combat oil along the gulf coastline. The administration has authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops from the area to help with clean-up efforts.

Louisiana has been hardest hit by the oil spill, but oil residue also has come ashore in Alabama and Mississippi. Scientists say oil sheen now is approaching the state of Florida.

Admiral Allen says resources are starting to spread thin, as the oil spill spreads further in the gulf.

"As the spill proliferates into smaller spills from south-central Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida, it is going to stress [containment] boom production capability in the country and the availability of skimmer [boats], and we are working hard to do that," said Allen.

Late Thursday, officials said strong winds drove oil into a pelican nesting ground on Queen Bess Island in Louisiana. Animal rescue teams were working to clean 60 birds that were coated in oil. Other groups have been working across the gulf to assist birds, turtles and other sea life affected by the spill.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid