BP Weighs Trying Smaller Dome

Company considers multiple strategies as oik continues to gush
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 9, 2010 4:00 PM CDT
An oil-stained cattle egret rests on the deck of the supply vessel Joe Griffin at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, May 9, 2010.    (Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – BP is considering more options to stop the flow of oil spewing at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. COO Doug Suttles said today BP is thinking about putting a smaller containment dome over the massive leak after a four-story, 100-ton box became clogged with icelike crystals yesterday. BP believes a smaller dome would be less vulnerable because it would contain less water.

The company is also debating whether it should cut the riser pipe undersea and use larger piping to bring the gushing oil to a drill ship on the surface. Suttles says cutting the pipe is tough, and considered the less desirable option. An estimated 3.5 million gallons has risen from the depths since the April 20 explosion that killed 11, a pace that would surpass the total spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster by June 20.

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