BP expects tube to be inserted after earlier setback

10:29, May 16, 2010      

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British energy giant BP said Saturday it expects a tube designed to siphon oil leaking from an undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico to be working by Saturday night, after encountering an earlier setback.

Mechanical problem prevented BP from inserting the mile-long tube into a ruptured pipe that would help siphon off oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, BP official Doug Suttles said Saturday.

The device was brought back to the surface Friday night for readjustments and BP's continuing working on inserting the tube and expect it to be working by Saturday night, said Doug.

London-based BP, the leaser of the "Deepwater Horizon" drilling rig which exploded off the Louisiana coast and unleashed a massive oil spill, began early Friday with its latest attempt to contain the oil by inserting the tube into a damaged oil pipe connecting the well. But the effort ran in problem, BP said.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar confirmed Saturday during a tour to Louisiana that BP's latest attempt to contain the oil spill met problems.

"They had to reconfigure, but they are back down again with the riser insertion tube trying to get it into the end of the riser pipe. They are hopeful that they will be able to make some progress on that today (Saturday)," said Salazar.

BP had tried to stop the oil leaking from the ruptured undersea well by flipping a blowout preventer switch. Its attempt to cap the oil with a giant steel containment dome also failed last week.

The "Deepwater Horizon" drilling rig, owned by Swiss-based Transocean, sank April 22 some 52 km off Venice, after burning for roughly 36 hours. The untapped wellhead continues gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Source: Xinhua


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