June 1st, 2010
10:06 AM ET

Robots to begin cuts to gushing well

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/06/01/gulf.oil.spill/t1main.oil.spill.01.gi.jpg width=292 height=320]

An operation aimed at lessening the amount of oil gushing from an underwater well in the Gulf of Mexico was under way Tuesday, weeks after a similar effort was abandoned, a BP official said.

"We want to minimize the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and we're well into an operation to do that," BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said.

Within hours, he said, robots will begin making a series of cuts to the "lower marine riser package" on the well. After that, a diamond-cut saw will be used to make a "clean cut," preparing the way for a custom-made cap to be fitted over the package.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. A.M. from Italy

    The Ecological Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Mr Anderson,
    our state television has issued a message addressed to experts to provide alternative solutions to those hitherto adopted to resolve the problem of sealing the well. I feel myself obliged to make some comments first and then to make a technical suggestion. Observing the systems used by the oil company it appears that so far it has only been making some vain attempts not to lose the well rather than prevent pollution on an enormous scale. And lately we have received news that finally the President has been informed of this situation and has set up a commission that will certainly confirm the truth of this assertion. It is a generally held belief that only an explosion could terminate the oil spillage. However, not an atomic explosion whose consequence would be disastrous but one provoked by a special missile – a delayed explosive warhead on a deep penetration missile. In this regard, I propose the attached technical solution: a structure for the “inverted” launch of a missile orientated to target the borehole, which a submarine manufacturer can make in a matter of hours.
    Description: a drum-shaped container with an opening at its center for the missile and four propellers at its cardinal points. Air outlets to position it at the necessary depth, and in any case at a point below the turbulence of the waves. An antenna mounted on a buoy to command the air outlets and the motors, and a laser at the tip of the missile, released after launch. In addition, external CCTV cameras to orient the laser ray upon the borehole from which the oil is escaping and separately operated idling propellers to stabilize the platform in order to center the borehole. The container would be suitably sized to accommodate a missile.

    June 1, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  2. Jon Hale

    Why is there no clamp around the riser below the top flange? This clamp would allow them to securely afix the LMRC to the riser and capture all of the oil. Also, what iis the differential pressure between the oil flowing out of the pipe, and the surrounding water pressure? Is there sufficient force down on the riser by the LMRF to overcome this differential? Why not have an open valve on the LMRF which could allow the oil to flow through the LMRF until it is secured in place? Once secured, the valve could be closed, forcing the oil up the new pipe.

    June 1, 2010 at 10:36 am |