London/Washington, May 31 (DPA) After the failure of British Petroluem’s ‘top kill’ attempt to seal off the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, the company is to try a new method to shut down the flow, a spokeswoman for BP in London confirmed Monday.
BP will now turn to the ‘lower marine riser package’ or LMRP technique, which could contain the oil in a more controlled flow, a spokeswoman told DPA.
The technique is a variation on the current siphon and would entail cutting off the jagged riser pipe at the well head and covering it with a new containment dome to capture more of the flow and siphon it to the surface, BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said at the site of the disaster late Sunday.
‘We have been unable to overcome the pressure of the well,’ Suttles said of the so-called top kill attempt to shut down the flow.
Over the past few days, BP engineers forced 30,000 barrels of heavy engineered mud down into the well and also shot rubber objects into the wellhead, but to no avail.
The current siphoning operation, which is only capturing a fraction of the leaking oil, connects at the end of the long riser pipe that now snakes along the ocean floor. It was torn from the drill rig Deepwater Horizon in the April 20 explosion.
Suttles said that BP has collected 22,000 barrels of oil from the current siphon operations, and was hopeful that the new siphon would work better.
‘We believe the LMRP should capture the majority of the flow. I can’t give a precise quantity,’ Suttles said.