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May. 25 2010 - 8:19 pm | 1,427 views | 1 recommendation | 11 comments

Live top kill: BP’s latest failed attempt to plug oil well

Let’s hope I’m wrong about that “failed” part.

After Congressional pressure, BP has switched course and will allow America to watch in real time as the company tries, yet again, to cap the gushing Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico.

This new attempt, called a top kill, has a 30 to 40 percent chance of failure, the company said Tuesday. But why should they be trusted when it comes to laying odds?

The plan calls for dumping 50,000 pounds of “viscous fluid” on top of the well. That may temporarily stop the oil, and give the company time to add concrete. If the initial attempts fail, BP says (and no, I’m not joking) that they will try to lodge a bunch of golf balls into the well. One wonders what the odds of success are for that plan.

Here’s your latest creative visualization for success.


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6 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 11 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    Imagine you have a 1-1/2″ air hose blowing a mere 90 psi, now you’re about to take a 1″ water hose(While the water is on) and try to jam in down that 1-1/2″ hose = FAIL!

    • collapse expand

      I am sitting on a rig 50 miles west of the site right now, the engineers have been discussing this for a week now and not a single one of us see this actually working. If they actually have the BOPs operational now, there is a very slight chance, if not – FAIL!

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand


    Any sign of the spill 50 miles to the west?

    Also, I’m wondering if you can tell us what solutions seem the most sensible to you at this point.

    • collapse expand

      It’s hard to believe we are straight west and only 50 miles away because it’s beautiful here. We’re in 650′ of water and the sea life is playing as if nothings wrong. We haven’t even seen the slightest sheen pass by us since this started.

      I feel bad for the engineers involved in that process. Until you understand drilling, the is no way to explain the complexity of the situation. Here is a picture of the BOP’s they are dealing with.


      That is an unbelievably complex and ahead of it’s time piece of equipment that not a single one of us feel that has any blame in this event what so ever. Regardless, not a single one of us see any alternative other than getting that BOP stack off and a new in it’s place, then your options are wide open.

      Just got a call, MMS is now 2 minutes from landing on my rig. No telling what this day will bring.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Mr. Knowles,

      Glad to say, good MMS visit.

      I just got some interesting info from MMS, we were talking about the BP situation and like we figured, there was a good reason for all the BP executives on the rig. 1. BP had found the pay zone, ran the casing, & cemented the well. They were incredibly close to turning it over for production. 2. BP was just about to announce to the word that they just made the biggest find in U.S. history

      Hold onto your socks for this one!

      A 100 million bbl field that would produce 18,000 bbls of crude a day. Unheard of in The Gulf and incredibly scary if they don’t get it plugged prior to the relief well being drilled.

      The deep water acoustic system everyone has been talking about – It is an old tech system that is rarely ever used anymore due to constant failures. There is only one deep water rig using it right now in the U.S. and it isn’t even operational.

      And Mr. David from LA, according to MMS, the Deep Water Horizon was in U.S. waters and did fall under all the same jurisdictions each and every other rig in the Gulf does. In fact, he said there isn’t a single rig in the Gulf that doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction except those in shallow Texas waters, they fall under (Believe it or not) The Texas Railroad Commission.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Hello Knut,

        A fascinating and frightening bit of information, this thing just gets scarier and scarier.

        In regards to the jurisdictional issues, my point was that the Clean Water Act (enforced by the USEPA) and the Occupational Safety & Health Act (enforced by OSHA) did not apply. I never said that MMS did not have any jurisdiction. I was quite clear that in the EEZ the US government, including the Coast Guard, does have some jurisdiction, just not USEPA or OSHA.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    Mr. Knowles,

    It was re-posted “This new attempt, called a top kill, has a 30 to 40 percent chance of failure, the company said Tuesday.” What does that even mean? Have there been a 100 similar cases where the entire rig fell over in deep water and the drill pipe broke at sea floor and this technique worked in 30 to 40 of those cases? I sure hope it works but really, it is just a shot in the dark. Like everyone else is saying “do something, anything” even if it doesn’t work.

  4. collapse expand


    Are you saying that this well, Deepwater, that is now flowing into the Gulf, is on the largest deposit every found in US history?

    Perhaps you could e-mail me regarding an interview:


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