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May 10th, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Crude cleanup stymied, what next?

(CNN) – BP is moving on to plan "B" today to try to contain a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A 40-foot high containment dome lowered into the water over the weekend failed to work.

The company is scrambling to figure out how to clog a leak that's spewing more than 200,000 gallons of oil into the sea every day. Doug Suttles is BP's chief operating officer for exploration and production and he joined us on Monday's American Morning.

Read more: Efforts to stop leak continue

Filed under: Environment • Gulf Oil Spill • U.S.
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. troy

    i was wondering if i can help out with an idea to clean up the oil leak u use a paddle boats lots of my in a row u put sheep hair along the paddles as each paddle moves it absorbs oil from the water hope u all read this i dont like whats happeningg with our inviroment
    i hope we can get this all cleaned up thanks sorry if i left this in the comment box dont know how to give my idea to u i hope i can help this world to have a safer and better inviorment

    May 15, 2010 at 1:07 am |
  2. Arthur von Boennighausen


    Attach a heavy funnel shaped object to the end of the pipe that normally goes from the oil rig on the surface to the blow out preventor. About 10 foot from the end of this pipe attach a one inch compressed air line from the surface and pump compressed air into the pipe.

    As the compressed air rises toward the surface inside the pipe it will create a powerful suction and if the end of this device is within a few feet of the leak it will draw the crude oil toward the surface to tanker ships like a vacumn cleaner.

    Most of us have seen these undewater suction systems used on a smaller scale by archeological teams working on the bottom of the ocean.

    The "Top Hat" device already constructed could be used as the heavy funnel shaped object at the end of the pipe leading to the tankers waiting on the surface.

    Thinking allowed.....

    Arthur von Boennighausen

    May 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  3. kathleen Reese

    BP "scrambling to figure out how to plug up the leak? Why aren't all military and civil resources being used to stop the flow of oil into our precious Gulf? Where is the US Navy and Civil Corp of Engineers and NASA. We can go to the moon?,,,we can go a mile down and plug up that leak!

    May 12, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  4. Stephen

    boycott an oil company?(BP) or another? yeah, you might as well try to boycott air. They own us and there is nothing we can do about it (and i know this will never make this on air) and if you think we can you just don't know how all oil companies are just one big company and you must be living in a cloud of denial.

    Report what you want but first get down and dirty and do some real re-search and not just sell yourself out as a talking head.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:06 am |

    Dig down from where the casing and BOP protrude from the ocean floor. Cut off the damaged BOP. Replace it with NEW BOP attached to neccessary piping. I've seen Safety Boss crews from Alberta do this procedure, on land of course, and with the wellhead on fire.

    May 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  6. Arthur von Boennighausen


    BP and President Obama should ask the US Navy's UDT/SEAL Teams how to use explosives including a small nuclear device how to disrupt one of the geologic layers between the sea floor and the deposit of oil which is 10,000 feet below the sea floor.

    By disrupting a impermiable geologic layer near the well bore the deposit of oil will be sealed off from the surface. The geo-technical studies that BP already has will show how far below the sea floor that the nuclear device should be set off.

    Rember, the UDT of UDT/SEALS means "Underwater Demolition Teams" which already have access to all the stuff like nuclear subs and nuclear explosives to do the job for all of us.

    Thinking allowed....

    Arthur von Boennighausen

    May 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  7. conoclast

    The Supreme Court has decreed that corporations are people; now let's see them act accordingly and show at least some token concern for the livlihoods they have ruined. That they continue to bicker and blame each other for the disaster only points up how arrogant and inhuman they are. I certainly wouldn't want one for a neighbor!

    May 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  8. robert j silcox

    i wish to see the oil leak stopped. use what is called a stacker pipe and build a mountain of stone and sand over this well with a pipe in the center.the oil will take the path of least resistance up the center of the mountain of fill .to be pumped off .sounds to simple to work.that is why it will.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  9. Mark Bergstrom

    I am praying that BP fixes this problem soon. The economy is bad enough! Too many good Americans suffering anyway!

    May 11, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  10. mikey

    Hey all you people who lived in Florida in '70s-'80s. What was the long term effect of the IXTOC oil spill on your state? Texas too.

    I'm trying to figure the media's angle on this. Why aren't they harping loudly about how the IXTOC spill effected the gulf coastline? Maybe because it was not the "ecological disaster" that they need to sway gullible people into believing that it is worse than it really is?
    I'm not saying it is good. But I would not complain if the news orgs gave us the whole story for a change and not filtered through an ideological prism.
    I reckon that they don't think I'm smart enough to decipher the facts?

    May 11, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  11. mikey

    I haven't heard any news orgs compare this spill to the IXTOC oil spill in the late 70s. The only spill they compare it to is the Valdez. Why?

    The IXTOC oil spill eventually spilled 3000000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It's funny that we never hear about that spill and especially it's aftereffects now Why?. It might be useful to the readers and viewers of major media to be able to make their own judgment based on the available evidence of long term detrimental effects of an oil spill that was ,at present, 10X larger than the new spill. Is this info that is not useful in swaying the readers viewpoint in the right direction? Could it be that 30 years from now the media will not even remember this new oil spill? Unless it fits their purpose? Just asking.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  12. JG

    That $500,000 price tag for an acoustic blow out preventer that BP should have put in the first place but decided to cut costs is looking really cheap right about now. The US Congress got bought off by BP to keep from having to make it required for oil wells, like it is everywhere else in this world. There's an old saying, "What goes around, comes around". Kinda makes you wonder what's next for America. That's what you get when you turn your back to God. Prayer helps if for no other reason than you're talking to the one Being that can really fix things.

    May 11, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  13. WHY

    Oil platforms have been around for many years, yet it seems that BPor the other oil companies have a legitimate plan for a disaster like this one.

    May 11, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  14. Richard 44

    It is time to cut the losses and seal the well. This will stop the leak and prevent further damage to the sea and coast not to mention the wild life and the economy. BP can then repay all the money it cost to fund this fiasco, of course they will pass it one to consumers. Any fines or costs are always passed to the consumer. We pay no matter what but cash is better than ruining the enviorment.

    May 11, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  15. Scottish Mama

    To Mr. George Gray, Maybe they should stuff a bunch of shareholders asses in the crevis.
    Did they say Halburton had faulty concrete material?
    Does Mr. Cheney still have a stake in that company?

    May 11, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  16. Joan

    It is quite likely that BP is only trying methods that preserve their investment; being able to recover and sell oil. All these methods they are trying could probably be disproven by an engineer. They may know they wont work, they are just waiting to build the other oil rig. They are keeping us, the stupid public, entertained with their seeming attempts to stop the oil. Lets not forget who brought us to this point; Dick Cheney and his deals with the oil companies. According to some reports, a simple $500,000 part could have been used to prevent this. Who voted on this deregulation? Certainly not the people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

    May 11, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  17. D.G. Pedherney

    Mycelx invented by Haluk Alper will save the shorelines. This product has been around for a long time. Problem: Mr. Alper does not work for a multinational corporation, therefore his product must not be any good. I hope people realize that there are intelligent people outside corporate confines. Hope BP contacts him in Gainsville, Ga.

    I am a Canadian who was doing some research on the oil spill and found his patent from the 1990's. I called Mrs. Alper, but there seemed to be no interest in the product. Hope there is now!

    May 11, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  18. greek

    I think its becoming apparent that the obama administration cant deal with this spill .Just like bush he will get either the credit or blame,for the cost and cleanup.i really dont feel the sense of urgency coming from washington no matter how many talking heads they put out.

    May 11, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  19. greek

    If this spill was to effect only wildlife i dont think it would get half the coverage its getting now.but let it effect tourism and everyone will hate the oil companies tilol their next fill uo. Maybe its time to but a bike!

    May 11, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  20. Andrew Spellman

    Run a tracer line inside the main line and pump hot oil continuously into the main dome to keep the temperature up to prevent crystals forming.
    drop it in place while pumping the hot oil and the crude to avoid gas forming.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:44 am |
  21. berlene laramee

    regarding oil spill.. i'm sure they have probably consided this, but, could they use something like caulking compound that is used to insulate homes. . it would have to be in a much larger scale, but, who knows?

    May 10, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  22. cyniq

    BP; Have you considered welding together a large plastic sheet and using four boats spreading it out above the well and pumping it out from the middle. You might be able to lower it while pumping to keep the differential pressure across the plastic within safe limits. The rising oil should migrate towards the center and form a dome under the plastic and a floating boom can pump it out. It's a delicate, but cheap strategy.

    May 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  23. Fabian Ladner

    I think they need to look at putting some explosives around it about 100 feet into the sand and blow it up on its self, I think that would work.

    May 10, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  24. Terry W. Brookman

    St Petersburg, Florida - With the disaster in the Gulf keeping everyone on edge looking for a solution, the answer might lay in material manufactured by a Columbian company with an office in Florida. The company, Global Environmental Technology, has a product that is 100 percent organic and was invented in 1998 by its president, Carlos Forero. He won science competitions in Switzerland and Austria for the product, which Not only does the product clean up the oil, it can also be recycled for use afterwards. In addition, if birds are contaminated, the product can used for them as well. You would think that with the disaster in the Gulf, and oil spilling out and heading to the beaches, the Coast Guard would be interested in the product. However, the company says all they are getting is red tape and getting nowhere. Liz Cabot, Forero's sister, says the Coast Guard said come back when they got EPA approval. When EPA reviewed the product and said it could be used, the company went back to the Coast Guard and Cabot says they were told they had to fill out paperwork. Cabot says they have been waiting and waiting for the paperwork to clear. And while the paperwork is being cleared, the oil continues to spread in the Gulf.

    May 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  25. dave

    Why can’t BP offer a big monetary prize for the best ideas to plug this leaking oil well? There was a contest for the first to fly in Kitty Hawk, NC. The Wright Brothers won that contest. You may have remember seeing videos of the inventions that did not make lift off. As they say in business, out of 200 ideas, 2 may be winners. The bigger the prize, the more ideas will be submitted. Everyone should be encouraged to submit ideas, no matter how silly they may seem.
    Perhaps military personnel could also participate in this contest as well. For example, can Navy subs be utilized to help with this tough oil well problem? Can materials engineering students propose using a new material that can harden at a certain sea level pressure? Can laser guided missiles be used, filled with certain materials, that simply plugs the hole once on impact? Perhaps someone reading this blog has an idea to build on these concepts.
    Perhaps a few levels of contests could be organized. This way, ideas may build upon one another. With all the help of live streaming, can engineering students and others from all over the world, submit opinions in real time in solving this stubborn oil leak?
    Can a new talk radio or news program, with the help of the internet, solve this oil leak? For example, can new Youtube videos educate the public on current technologies facing this oil situation? This time it may show the technologies used for oil drilling offshore. It could also show the challenges of plugging the current oil well that is leaking. Various technologies could be shown that are being considered today to plug that leaking oil well.
    BP ought to consider offering and organize a big monetary award for the best ideas to plug this stubborn oil leak. The bigger the prize, the more people will submit ideas. Runner-ups should also win prizes as well. The winner should perhaps also win the Congressional Metal of Honor as well for their winning ideas. This is my opinion that may help solve this problem.

    May 10, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  26. Bob Daniel

    What about using a large drill bit in the top of the dome, to create a vortex. Keeping the oil in a spinning motion like ice in a blender.

    May 10, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  27. gary

    I suggest you stuff a couple of 400 million dollar retirement funds into it. That should stop it pretty quick. g

    May 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  28. Greg

    It is appalling that the organization that provides the permits to allow these companies to drill at these great depths does not seem to require the driller to have a proven disaster recovery plan.

    It is irresponsible of these companies to work at these depths without having a plan and only "options" of what may work to contain a leak in such a scenario. Could this happen again? Is it only a matter of time, before it does.

    At best, more requirements will be levied upon the oil companies, but why does it always take a disaster for an industry to do better. Money? You bet.

    The next thing we will hear is that they can't afford to clean up the mess they made? what do you think?

    May 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  29. del

    i hope they fix it already. that is so devestating to the marine life and eventually will affect us as well. what about a pump to transfer the gushing oil onto land ii dont know i just dont understand why they didnt have 5 back up plans for a situation like this.

    May 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  30. George Gray

    Congratulations BP on your innovative and hard work in solving this sudden and tragic problem in the Gulf of Mexico! Also a respectful Aloha and shout-out to the eleven (11) brave and dedicated individuals lost from the Deepwater Horizon, as well as to the injured. Keep up the good work, and never lose faith. – A loyal shareholder.

    May 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  31. Smith in Oregon

    It is now widely rumored that the rupture in the Mercado Oil Field which is gushing a huge volume of heavy crude Oil into the once pristine Gulf of Mexico is enormous. A GIGANTIC CRATER which is pouring in the immense high pressure from the Ocean into that field which is forcing that heavy crude Oil out.

    The Coast Guard Admiral at times looks like he is on the BP pay-roll and has been entirely evasive about the rumors that some seeing the undersea photos of the crater have stated it is absolutely enormous making any effort to plug extremely unlikely or very, very long going and difficult.

    There is an estimated 2 BILLION gallons of heavy crude oil which consists of nearly 50% Asphalt in the Mercado Oil Field, therefore this eruption of heavy crude Oil into the Ocean could continue for several months before ALL 2 Billion Gallons have been forced out by the immense deep Ocean pressure. Of course nearly all of the entire Gulf of Mexico would then be a DEAD ZONE and pose a risk to simply transverse.

    May 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  32. George Burns Jr.

    So far BP has tried to recover oil. It seems to me that they have done nothing to try to stop the flow from the well, nada, nothing. There is talk of injecting material into the blowout preventer. Why isn't it done?. I don't understand what all this waiting is about. The box that was put down there got frozen elements in it. Well, from what I read a week before the attempt, that result was expected. Now they are going to put another (childish design) box down so that can fail.

    May 10, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  33. Joan Fox

    It’s nice to see BP executives out and about. I wouldn’t suggest they try getting served in a restaurant in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, or Florida however. And that’s just the beginning of the list. Soon, the spill may travel up the east coast. These executives should all be in jail along with Cheney, who gave them "carte blanche" to ignore safety regulations which are standard procedure all over the world, except here, in our country. What does Cheney have against our country?

    May 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  34. dvel

    I think it's time we made an example out of one of these reckless oil companies. the damage they've done is catostraphic and it affects us all in major ways from the price of seafood to the health cost of swimming in the gulf. Come on all you lawers out there, there is money to be made. If you can't operate an oil business without destroying the earth, you should NOT be allowed to participate in that business...... PERIOD!

    May 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  35. Cheyenne

    I fell real sorry for the people's family. If you lost someone on the oil rig disaster I know your pain

    May 10, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  36. John D

    Failed to work? Why?? Some of us are actually interested in the details. Go figure.

    May 10, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  37. Dwight Sanders

    Can the "Box" and the pipe that is lowered be insulated from the Cold like they insulate the Space shuttle and between the insulation and the metal skin of the box and pipes some kind of heating element !

    May 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm |