Attempts to stop the oil flow

A quick recap of efforts to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil leak so far:

Tried and failed:

Using remotely operated submarines to trigger the switches to close the blowout preventer (BOP) valves

Putting a steel and concrete container over the broken pipe to collect the oil

Performing a “top kill” on the well by pumping heavy drilling fluid down it to push back the oil and gas

A “junk shot” of material such as golf balls and shredded tyres into the BOP to clog it, facilitating the top kill

Proposed but never tried:

A smaller “top hat” containment dome to collect the escaping oil, in the hope that it would be less vulnerable to the ice crystals that stopped the larger container from working

Attaching a new BOP to the top of the failed BOP

Tried with partial success:

Inserting a smaller tube into the broken pipe from which most of the oil escapes. This captured up to 5,000 barrels per day, but volumes varied, and official estimates put the leak at between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels per day.

Now being tried:

Attaching a new container to the “lower marine riser package” on top of the BOP to collect oil that can be carried to the surface

To be tried next:

Using additional pipes to draw off more of the oil to be collected by ships

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