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BP to try new spill containment device after “Top Kill” fails

With the “Top Kill” method now abandoned, BP are pinning their hopes on a new spill containment method to stop oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP has already spent over £645million trying to contain the flow of oil from the broken riser pipe on the seabed in the Gulf of Mexico, after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded eleven weeks ago.

It seems that BP is now fighting a political battle as well as an environmental battle with the US government heavily pressurising the oil company to find a solution. The next method likely to be used will be a spill containment cap over the leak so oil can be pumped to the surface. The operation is however highly complicated with robot submersibles having to accurately cut the pipe before the cap can be fitted. Meanwhile BP is drilling relief wells that won’t be finished until August.

The spill containment unit will not completely stop the flow of oil into the sea, but it is hoped that the vast majority can be pumped to the surface. It seems the pressure is on for BP to deliver this time after the previous spill containment dome failed when ice crystals blocked the funnel.

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