The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Surgical Procedure by Robot Control

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted May 3, 2010

"This is like doing open-heart surgery at 5,000 feet in the dark with robot-controlled submarines," Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America, said this weekend as he described the complexity of stopping the oil leaks in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP_response.jpgAs he and other BP officials told reporters this weekend:

  • There are now six ROVs trying every technique imaginable to get the blowout preventer (BOP) to activate fully and stop the flow of oil.
  • Three containment domes are being fabricated and are expected to be placed over the leaking riser to capture the oil and safely transport it to a barge for processing. According to one report, these domes, which weigh about 74 tons, could be deployed in six-to-eight days.
  • About 2,500 people, scores of vessels, miles of boom, and hundreds of thousands of gallons of dispersant are being used on the oil spill as weather permits.
  • At least one relief well, possibly two, will be drilled to completely seal the well.

Depending on the effectiveness of these efforts, the spill could be stopped soon or "could go on for 90 days," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stated yesterday. (Washington Post)

BP has released new photos of the command center on its website, showing some of the people who are actively engaged with the response effort including Gov. Haley Barbour.

(Image Source: BP)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.