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BP captures some oil from leaking well

05-17-2010 13:42 BJT

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Energy giant, BP, has successfully contained some oil gushing unabated into the Gulf of Mexico. The company used a mile-long siphon tube to capture oil and gas leaking from the well, as the crisis entered its 24th day.

BP engineers have remotely guided underwater robots since Friday to place the tube into a 53 centimeter pipe about one and a half kilometers below the sea.

After several setbacks, the contraption was hooked up successfully and funneling oil to a tanker ship.

Kent Wells, BP Senior Vice President, said, "It's working as planned and we are very slowly increasing the rate that is coming from the riser tool up the surface. So we do have oil and gas coming to the ship now, we do have a flare burning off the gas and we have the oil that is coming to the ship going through our surge tank, We will be looking to optimize this over the next couple of days to try to produce as much as of the oil and gas as we can from this and we will just learn as we go in this approach."

BP said it will take days to figure out how much oil its pipe is diverting.

Several previous attempts to stop the leak failed. The oil giant tried in vain to activate emergency valves and lowered a 100 ton container that got clogged with icy crystals.

Kent Wells, BP Senior Vice President, said, "We learnt from that and the creation we put together with the riser insertion tool is to avoid the icing over and I'm happy to say that so far it's working extremely well."

He added that crews will slowly ramp up how much oil the tube collects over the next few days.

The final choice to end the leak is a relief well, but that project is more than two months from completion.

The April 20th oil rig explosion killed 11 workers, and it also threatened sea life, commercial fishing and the coastal tourist industry from Louisiana and Florida.


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