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Ear to the Ground

A Job for the Giant Shears

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Posted on Jun 3, 2010
oil spill site
AP / Gerald Herbert

Oil floats on the surface of the water Wednesday around the Transocean Development Driller II at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In BP’s latest attempt at putting a lid on its disastrous oil spill, the embattled company pulled out a pair of giant shears Thursday to cut through a damaged pipe in preparation for—(drum roll) a containment cap—as a skeptical global audience looked on. 

Update: The shears, apparently, have worked—KA

The Guardian:

The move came after a diamond-tipped saw failed to cut through after becoming stuck in the pipe, in another frustrating delay in the six weeks since the wellhead rupture in the Gulf of Mexico.

A containment cap will be lowered and sealed over the wellhead in next few hours, said Thad Allen the head of the US coast guard. He added that it will not be known how much oil BP can siphon to a tanker on the surface until the cap is fitted. But the irregular cut on the pipe means it will not fit as tightly as officials had hoped.

“We’ll have to see when we get the containment cap on it just how effective it is,” Allen said. “It will be a test and adapt phase as we move ahead, but it’s a significant step forward.”

Even if it works, BP engineers expect oil to continue leaking into the sea.

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By Squeeky, June 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

A. Nonymous your argument is based on reason and understanding. We both know that BP and the Fed. Gov’t are in short supply of both.

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By A. Nonymous, June 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder what the rate of oil flow was
just before the shears cut through!!

Why not just pinch the pipe closed
at several points and take a breather?

Why not require that a pinch-clamp
applier robot be on standby for any
future drilling? To be able to stop
any leak within 48hrs max, any place.

Then, if oil corps want to get the
oil, they can design a robot that
can cut and put new fittings with
less than an hour’s spill time, or
they don’t get to do it.

Legislate, don’t bloviate.

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By reverendjolson, June 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Would someone please point out to the Tea Party dingdongs that “our” oil is being siphoned by a British company. Our border is being invaded by an oil slick created by a foreign corporation. What is wrong with nationalizing our natural resources? Why do people get so bent out of shape over gas taxes, but hand over almost the same amount in corporate profit without any complaint whatsoever?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

If there isn’t a crash program with carte blanc authority behind it to solve this problem, I want to know why not?

Our trillion dollar military is useless in protecting us from the ecological disaster which threatens all of us now unfolding.

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