"Top kill" procedure on Gulf oil spill has failed

Dammit.

BP admitted defeat Saturday in its attempt to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak by pumping mud into a busted well, but is readying yet another approach after repeated failures to stop the crude that’s fouling marshland and beaches.

BP PLC Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said the company determined the “top kill” had failed after it spent three days pumping heavy drilling mud into the crippled well 5,000 feet  underwater. More than 1.2 million gallons of mud was used, but most of it escaped out of the damaged riser.

Obama is said to be “enraged” at the news and I certainly can’t blame him. The next plan is to use robot subs to cut off the damaged part of the riser and put a valve on it that would stop the oil flow. That might cause the flow to get worse temporarily as the bent riser is serving to restrict the oil flow a bit at the moment. That said, what choice do we have? The relief well that will certainly stop the spill isn’t going to be ready until August and we can’t just sit back until then.

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