Team Mulls 'Trash Plug' for Oil Leak

'Junk shot' would be blasted into contraption
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 10, 2010 1:50 AM CDT
Updated May 10, 2010 7:00 AM CDT
A remote operated vehicle is lowered from the Ocean Intervention III to assist in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana over the weekend.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – The team that failed to cap the Gulf oil well with a dome may next try to plug the gusher with trash. The so-called "junk shot" would be used to aid the "blowout preventer" contraption that now sits near the leaker, but hasn't worked to prevent the spill since the oil rig explosion earlier this month. "They'll take a bunch of debris—shredded up tires, golf balls and things like that—and under very high pressure, shoot it into the preventer itself and see if they can clog it up and stop the leak," Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen told CBS.

The odd tactic has worked in the past but never so far beneath the surface. Oil company BP failed over the weekend to cap the well with its dome when ice-like crystals blocked the dome's top and made it buoyant. The dome strategy may yet be attempted again or may be tried with a smaller dome. Company officials are also exploring other strategies. The spill is now up to 3.5 million gallons of oil.

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