BP preps for latest relief effort

June 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM
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NEW ORLEANS, June 1 (UPI) -- Remote-controlled vehicles on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico are ready to cut a damaged riser in preparation for a containment cap, BP said Tuesday.

BP's so-called top kill method to stop the flow of oil and gas from a broken riser about 1 mile underwater failed during the weekend, leaving the embattled petroleum company looking for other methods.

The company, in an update Tuesday, said remotely operated vehicles are preparing to install a lower marine riser package cap containment system at the site of the leak.

Following these preparations, BP said it would connect a containment cap to a drill ship and begin capturing "most" of the leaking oil and natural gas.

The cap attempt is expected later in the week. BP warned the latest attempt involves "risks and uncertainties," adding it has never been attempted at 5,000 feet under water.

Meanwhile, work is ongoing on two relief wells that would ultimately stop the leak. BP said it could take around three months to complete from the start of drilling May 2.

"BP's priority is to keep as much oil as we can from causing additional harm to the gulf, the shoreline and the people of the region," said BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward.

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