BP's next attempt underway to plug the oil leak - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: BP's next attempt underway to plug the oil leak


COVINGTON, La. (AP) -- Robot submarines are carrying equipment and cutting small pipes at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, preparing to place a cap-like containment valve over the blown-out oil well.

Video feeds Monday showed the robots using a circular-saw-like device to cut small pipes around a wider riser that is spewing oil and gas.

BP spokesman Graham MacEwen said the robots were working to clear the way to bring a larger, more powerful diamond-edged saw to slice the leaking riser and place a cap on it.

The company says if successful, the cap could contain the majority of the gushing oil and bring it to the surface. The company could begin cutting into the riser as early as Wednesday.

Millions of gallons of oil have already leaked in the nation's worst oil spill.


WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- A BP executive says the company will learn from its failed attempts to stop the Gulf oil spill and apply those lessons to its next try.

BP managing director Robert Dudley explains that unmanned submarines working a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico will try to saw through a leaking pipe and then cap it with a funnel-like device built to capture the oil.

This next attempt will be similar to a containment dome that failed to work.

Dudley says BP will try to pump warm sea water down the pipe to keep the oil and gas warmer and prevent ice from forming. That was blamed for the earlier failure.

Dudley spoke on "Fox News Sunday" with later appearances on CNN's "State of the Union," ABC's "This Week," NBC's "Meet the Press" and CBS' "Face the Nation."


ROBERT, La. (WKOW) -- BP has failed in its latest attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico using mud and cement.

On Saturday, BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said that the maneuver known as a top kill had failed. It was the latest setback for the company trying to stop the crude from further fouling waters, wildlife and marshland.

The spill is the worst in U.S. history and has dumped between 18 million and 40 million gallons into the Gulf, according to government estimates.

BP's top executive had put the chances of success for the top kill at 60 to 70 percent, but officials had cautioned that it had never been done 5,000 feet below the sea.

BP says it's already preparing for the next attempt to stop the leak. Under the new plan, BP would cut off the damaged riser from which the oil is leaking and cap it with a containment valve.


GULF COAST (WKOW) -- A BP executive says the company is now considering other ways to contain the massive oil leak in the Gulf.

The risky method known as "Top Kill" started on Wednesday has not worked.

The procedure involves pumping heavy drilling mud into the crippled well in a bid to stop the oil. It's never been tried in 5,000 feet of water.

BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles told reporters Saturday in Port Fourchon that the top kill has not stopped the flow of oil and he doesn't know whether it will succeed. He says the company is already preparing its next option to cap the well.

The oil spill began after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded last month, killing 11 people. It's the worst spill in U.S. history, dumping between 18 million and 40 million gallons into the Gulf.

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