Robot tries to thin oil at source of leak
A remote-controlled submarine shot a chemical dispersant into a massive undersea oil leak yesterday. Crews using the deep-sea robot attempted to thin the oil – which is rushing up from the seabed at a pace of about 210,000 gallons per day – after getting approval from the Environmental Protection Agency, a spokesman for BP said. The agency had halted two previous rounds of the dispersant to test its potential impact on the environment.
After an ice build-up thwarted attempts to siphon off most of the leak using a 100-tonne containment box, BP engineers pushed ahead with other potential short-term solutions, including using a smaller box and injecting the leak with junk to plug it. However, none of these have been tried so deep – about a mile below the surface .
Workers were simultaneously drilling a relief well, the solution considered most permanent, but that was expected to take up to three months. At least 3.5 million gallons were believed to have leaked since a drilling rig blast killed 11 on 20 April. If the leak continues unabated, in about a month it will surpass the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster as the worst US oil spill.
The engineers appear to be "trying anything people can think of" to stop the leak, said Ed Overton, a Louisiana State University professor of environmental studies.
Back on land, authorities in Louisiana deployed helicopters to drop sandbags along islands and marshes where the oil has already reached. Authorities also planned to use south Louisiana's system of locks and levees to release water to help keep the worst of the oil at sea.
BP – which is responsible for the clean-up – said the spill has cost it $350m (£235.5m) so far for its immediate response and containment efforts.
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 GamerGate: developer Tim Schafer provokes rage with joke about online gaming activists at industry awards
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...