Top Kill Fails To Plug Oil Spill, BP Now To Try LMRP Cap

By Peter Fowler at 29 May 2010

BP says its Top Kill attempt to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak has failed and after a review by government officials it has been decided to move to the next option.

BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles told a press conference that after a series of reviews in conjunction with government officials a decision had been made to "move to the next option."

BP said preparations have been made for the possible deployment of the lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap containment system, which would be complex because of the depth of the oil leak.

Deployment would first involve removing the damaged riser from the top of the failed BOP to leave a cleanly-cut pipe at the top of the BOP's LMRP.

The cap, a containment device with a sealing grommet, will be connected to a riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship, 5,000 feet above on the surface, and placed over the LMRP with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well.

Mr Suttles said it should capture "most of the oil" and was expected to last at least four days but "we cannot guarantee success at this time."

Drilling of two relief wells which began on May 2 and May 16 were ahead of schedule, he said.

USCG Rear Admiral Mary Landry said at the press conference she was "very disappointed" in the announcement but she said the government had a "very very aggressive response posture."

"We only have 107 miles of shoreline oiled right now and we have approximately 30 acres of marsh," she said.

However they were all reminded the region was heading into Hurricane season.

Rear Admiral Landry said the complex nature of the oil spill means more delays and setbacks can be expected.

"We have directed BP to move forward in the next attempt to block the well," she said.

(C) NewsRoom America 2010

(C) NewsRoom America 2010

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