British Petroleum, a strategic performance unit of the BP Group (NYSE: BP) and one of the world’s largest tanker operators, recently announced its newest strategy to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In an effort to contain the current oil spill, British Petroleum (BP) slashed a pipe with giant shears earlier this week in an effort to curtail the worst spill in U.S. history; however, the cut was jagged and placing a cap over the gusher will now be more challenging than originally anticipated. It cannot be determined how much oil BP can siphon to a tanker on the surface until the cap is fitted, but the irregular cut means the cap will not fit as snugly as officials hoped.
This method to control the spill is considered risky due to slicing away a section of the 20-inch-wide riser, which could temporarily increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent. President Barack Obama will return to the Louisiana coast by the end of this week to assess the latest efforts, his third trip to the region since the April 20 disaster. The next chance to stop the flow will not be available until two relief wells meant to plug the reservoir entirely are finished in August.
The Coast Guard directed BP to pay for five additional sand barrier projects in Louisiana, bringing the company’s cost to approximately $360 million, on top of about $990 million it had spent on response and clean up. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported 522 dead birds — at least 38 of them oiled — along the Gulf coast states, and more than 80 oiled birds have been rescued. It’s not clear exactly how many of the deaths can be attributed to the spill.