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Top Kill Dead in the Water: What’s Next for the Deepwater Oil Spill?

Top Kill Dead in the Water: What’s Next for the Deepwater Oil Spill?

Looks like the small hopes we had that BP’s effort to “top kill” the well in the Gulf were for naught.

Today, Mother Jones‘ Kate Sheppard reported that officials at BP say that not only is the strategy to shut down the well not working, but there is no evidence that the flow has lessened:

“I don’t think the amount of oil coming out has changed,” BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said on Saturday. “Just by watching it, we don’t believe it’s changed.”

BP is holding a press conference this evening to discuss their next attempts to stem the flow, but what if nothing works?

According to the Christian Science Monitor, it could take up to seven years for the well to pump itself out. The scenario is increasingly dangerous for not only the health and well-being of the gulf, but the planet itself. Here’s a look at the numbers:

“At 18,000 feet into the bedrock lies the Macondo oil deposit, which, thanks to the Deepwater Horizon accident, is now spewing its crude cargo at between 14,000 and 19,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. It is Day 40 of the disaster.

“Estimated by BP to hold 50 million barrels, the seam of oil has emptied as much as 740,000 barrels (one barrel is 42 gallons), or about 1.5 percent of the total. Because of the immense pressures of the earth’s innards, geologists say, the deposit will completely unload into the Gulf unless the Deepwater Horizon well is capped.”

“With those numbers literally pressing up from the earth’s core, BP and government scientists are running out of immediate options to kill the runaway well.”

For more information on the potential impact of the spill, check out Beth Buczynski’s 10 horrifying Facts You Never Wanted to Know.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user tsand.

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147 comments

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1:20AM PDT on Jun 4, 2010

thanks for sharing

12:33AM PDT on Jun 3, 2010

Thanks for sharing

2:38PM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

The news is very discouraging. Does anyone at BP know what the hell they're doing? The US Government should bring in consultants from universities and oceanographic institutions, like Woods Hole, Mass., if they haven't already done so. This whole situation makes me sick, & I hate to think how much worse it will get if the Gulf Coast is hit by a major hurricane. This is supposed to be an active hurricane season.

5:35PM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

Not holding my breath

1:06PM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

I'm wondering if Transocean is guilty of the same deception and brainless greed as the folks who knowingly backed bad mortgages! How convenient for Transocean that they made $270 million on a catastrophy that could end up killing the entire Gulf of Mexico before it is done.

8:58AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

when is this ever going to stop?

7:38AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

I had a look at the US map and I see that texas is close to the Mexican gulf where oil is also drilled for.
I know that Yellowstone park has a lot of pressure underneath it but it is a very long way away.
Looking at the map, I see Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba & Florida all on the same coast of sea.
From recent hurricanes etc, it seems that the wind always blows the same way, which is not the same in the UK.
Does anybody know any different?

7:27AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

Shameful, disgusting, and horrific!

7:16AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

Wasn't there another solution that BP said would take one month to put in place?... Drilling an adjacent well. The Top Kill was the next solution. Since Top Kill has failed, the adjacent well should have been drilled by now, but they are now claiming that this alternative well will now take another 2 months. Obviously, multitasking is being overseen by those who disregarded all the safety issues as well. It is one lie after another with BP.

7:07AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

We all need to cut our dependance on oil!

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