bp wrestles with latest oil containment attempt - oil containment
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From a blow EDTOil-
A huge underwater plume is forming outside the well, up to 10 miles under the visible oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists say, BP struggled Sunday for a third day to slow growth in nearly a month. old gusher.
BP is the largest oil and gas producer in the United States. S.
, Has been unable to insert the pipeline into the leak, suck the crude oil to the tanker.
BP said the engineer's remote-driving robot submersible tried again on Sunday to install the pipe into a crack nearly a mile below the surface.
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Since the rig's deep-water Horizon explosion in April 20, oil has been gushing, killing 11 people and sinking two days later.
Soon after, the government estimated the leak to be 210,000 gallons.
Or 5,000 barrels.
One day, the number was questioned by some scientists who were worried that it might be more.
Executives at BP insisted on the estimate while acknowledging that there was no way to determine it.
Since the leak was discovered a few days after the explosion, the company has been looking for ways to control the leak.
The first robot submarine was unable to get the valve to work on the wellhead machinery called the blowout preventer.
Then, the company uses 100-
A ton of boxes after forming an ice-like crystal inside.
BP has also been burning a small amount of oil slick and spraying chemical dispersing agents up and down the surface.
The relief well, considered a permanent leak solution, is still under drilling and is several months away from completion.
Prior to that, the company was also considering adopting smaller containment domes or blocking leaks with golf and rubber.
At the same time, the huge underwater oil plume has caused people to worry about more damage to the eco-rich Bay.
This also raises questions about when a large amount of crude oil may go ashore.
So far, tar balls are occasionally washed off on beaches in several states, but oil is not heavily ashore.
"It's just a matter of time. . .
The first large amount of oil will be around the United States.
Hans Grabel, director of satellite sensing facilities at the University of Miami, said he has been following the oil slick.
Researchers at the National Seabed Institute of Science and Technology said on Saturday that they had detected an underwater oil plume, ranging in depth from below the surface of the water to more than 4,000 feet.
Samantha Joyer, professor of marine science at the University of Georgia, said three or four large feathers have been found, at least one 10 miles long and one mile wide.
Researchers Vernon Asper and Arne Dierks said in a web post that feathers "may be due to deep injections of the dispersion that BP claims they are doing.
"BP has won approval from the government to use chemicals near where oil is spewing to break down oil before it rises to the ground.
Researchers are also testing the effects of a large amount of undersea oil on oxygen levels in water.
Oil will run out of oxygen in the water, hurting plankton and other tiny creatures that serve as food for a variety of marine organisms.
Oxygen levels in some areas have dropped by 30% and should continue to decline, says Joye.
"It may take years, or even decades, for the system to recover from this amount of oil and gas injected," said Joye . ".
"We have never seen such a thing before.
It is impossible to understand the impact.
"Joye's lab is waiting for the research ship to return so that a team of scientists can test about 75 water samples and 100 sediment samples during the voyage.
The researchers plan to return after about a month to sample the same area to see if the level of oil and oxygen has deteriorated.
The latest effort to control the leak, insert a mile
The biggest of the two leaks was a long pipe leak, which encountered obstacles on Saturday.
Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP, said a device called a frame must be brought to the surface and adjusted to fit the pipe.
The frame has tubes and plugs.
The tube can capture more than three if it works
Several quarters of the leak
BP must also deal with smaller leaks farther away.
One expert said BP's latest ideas so far seem to have the best chance of success.
Ed Overton, professor of environmental studies at LSU, said it would be easy to insert pipes into the surface of the tanker.
But the use of robots in 5,000 feet of the water, the oil flowing out of the pipe, makes things more difficult.
"It's like a needle.
But it may be hard to do it here.
You can imagine how hard it is to do it there with a robot, "said Overton.