Epic Failure for Oil Containment Dome

Sunday, May 9, 2010

BP on Saturday encountered an epic failure in their efforts to submerge and attach a steel containment dome — which resembles a massive outhouse, over a leaking well on the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico, forcing the company to scramble to find another method to cap the crude oil flowing into the Gulf since April 20th.

Gas hydrates, ice-like crystals lighter than water, built up inside the 100-ton metal container. The hydrates threatened to make the dome buoyant and had plugged up the top of the dome, preventing it from being effective.

Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer, offered this stunning doublespeak at a news conference in Robert, LA on Saturday:

“I wouldn’t say it has failed yet. What we attempted to do last night hasn’t worked.”

The news on Saturday came as BP has struggled to find any method to contain the spill, currently at least 5,000 gallons barrels, or roughly 210,000 gallons per day into the Gulf of Mexico and threatening the sensitive coastline of the United States.

BP has put the dome 650 feet to the side of the leaking well while the company reevaluates its options.

This entry was posted in Environment, Gulf Oil Spill, News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Epic Failure for Oil Containment Dome

  1. Joe in Colorado says:

    It looks like BP has reached the point where they’re reduced to praying for an effective solution or hoping the oil well runs dry and stops on its own. In other words, they are utterly clueless and have no solutions.

  2. Stephan Iversonn says:

    Remember the essay from the oil engineer with 25 years experience that appeared on various blog sites?

    He posited that such a spill as the one currently out of control in the Gulf of Mexico has the potential over time to foul all the oceans of the world. In a year from now, dead fish and sea animals will wash ashore in India and Argentina.

    The engineer said the oxygen in the water needed by fish and crustaceans to survive will be zapped out of the water, rendering the oceans dead to life as we know it.

    He also said BP will be forced to take draconian steps to try and cap the well. Including detonating an atomic bomb in the drill shaft, hopefully closing the well off for good. Assuming the crust of the earth isn’t fractured in the process making the oil zone ten times worse than it currently is.

  3. Adirondacky says:

    I think whoever came up with this bandaid fix must have ice-like crystals in their brain. The sheer force of the underwater geyser would render this containment device ineffective. They must plug the hole and cap it permanently. In the meantime, the region remains in peril and no one seems to know what to do about it.

  4. Mets Fan says:

    The region was battered and bruised from Hurricane Katrina and had only recently started to recover and show signs of life again.

    What a shame that Big Oil continues to control the reigns of power in Washington DC. Even a Democratic administration can’t quite stand up to Big Oil.

  5. Brigadoon says:

    This huge containment device was never intended to stop the spill. It was meant to function as a siphon to allow oil barges to drain the oil out and send it on to process into gasoline. We had better get this mess under control or the Gulf of Mexico stands to become one huge lake of sweet, light crude.

  6. bradfrmphnx says:

    Total Fail! Serious considerations have to be taken into account as to how we manage off-shore drilling. But as long as money and oil rule our government, and our country, I doubt any changes will take place. Everytime there is an oil disaster, the same puppets say the same things, “This has got to change!” Yet it never does. Total Fail, totally sad.

  7. VicoDANIEL says:

    I think what angers me most about the oil disaster is, it was preventable.

    If BP’s lobbying effort to the Obama administration to be exempted from installing the $550,000 shut-off valve before the leases were approved by Interior, I think we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Once again, the power of corporate interests above the interests of the American people.


  8. fran says:

    Here is a song I came upon that sums it up~

  9. R.J. says:

    I’m with vicoDaniel on this one. No more oil rigs without shutoff valves!

  10. fran says:

    BP did shoddy work, and the regulators who were supposed to be in charge allowed it. Oil drilling is tainted with $$$. Now the Gulf is tainted.
    The containment box experiment was always regarded from the beginning as a giant experiment.
    Never been done at that depth, temperatures and conditions were not favorable.
    Not only does BP have the crude gushing, but now they have an exploded oil rig platform (bigger than a football field), this 100 ton box littering up the ocean floor. They are using burning as a clean up technique- as if black billowing smoke choking the skies is a sound environmental move. The chemical dispersants break u the oil, but add toxic chemicals to the mix. The containment booms
    are getting tossed about by wind & waves.

    In other news:

    “LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Radioactive water that leaked from the nation’s oldest nuclear power plant has now reached a major underground aquifer that supplies drinking water to much of southern New Jersey, the state’s environmental chief said Friday.
    But the mere fact that the radioactive water — at concentrations 50 times higher than those allowed by law — has reached southern New Jersey’s main source of drinking water calls for urgent action, Martin said.”


    The point here is we have pretty solidly established that the notion that safe & clean coal, offshore oil drilling & nuclear power is bullshit.

    Those who have the gall to defend it as such should go swim in the gulf, eat tainted seafood, and wash it down with some S. New Jersey irradiated drinking water.

    Enough already!

  11. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    This is what BP needs to do:

    1. Gather together 100 oil driller jobbers with a minimum of 20 years experience
    2. Gather the top Naval advisers with oil clean up experience
    3. Gather together the best and most experienced oil clean up experts from the top 10 oil companies in the world

    Put them together in a room, give them a timeline and a black check and tell them “get it done.”

    Get Interior and BP out of the equation.

  12. The oil spill has harmed the ecosystem for many years to come.

  13. Jolly Roger says:

    The concept of the containment dome is correct. The application sucks.

    And now we know, for sure, that there are ticking time bombs all over the place, just offshore. Gosh, and I used to wonder about all the nucular waste they dumped in those barrrels over the sides of ships-you know, the pressure thing, and how those barrels were withstanding it? I guess I have bigger worries now.

  14. Estacada says:

    There are fundamental differences between the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill that destroyed the ecosystem in Prince William Sounds and the BP oil spill hammering the Gulf of Mexico.

    With the Exxon Valdez, there was a single source of oil coming from a container ship. It was self-limiting. The BP spill is an undersea geyser that will spew oil into the Gulf until it is capped.

    If BP engineers fail to cap it off at the source, the Gulf will become a massive ecological cesspool and likely spread to the Atlantic ocean. Once currents start to spread it, the eastern seaboard of the U.S. will be effected.

    The destruction could travel south along coast of South America and enter the Amazon river basin. If the oil crosses the Atlantic, we’re looking at goo reaching Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa.

  15. Woodcliffe says:

    According to published news reports, an estimated 3.5 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf since the deadly April 20th Deepwater Horizon explosion which killed 11 workers.

    At this pace, the spill will surpass the 11 million gallons spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster by next month, or just 20 days from today.

    We have a very serious situation unfolding.

  16. Pingback: Gulf Oil Dome Failure | Latest News Trends

  17. DON GG says:

    I’AM GLADE that a PLAN from on HIGH that is GREAT, and would WORK out for the GOOD, there is HOPE out HEAR can you HEAR what I’AM saying NOW CAN I GET PAID BILLIONS I KNOW GOD HAS HIS HANDS ON STOPPING THE OIL SPILLING

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