A remote controlled submarine successfully cut into the Deepwater Horizon’s riser pipe on Tuesday, creating a fresh oil gusher that BP hopes to fit with a cap once a diamond saw can be used to ensure the cut is perfectly clean.
The dramatic scene played out on live streamed video, watched by thousands all over the world.
“When the robot submarines cut into the undersea well’s riser pipe, a fresh spew of oil temporarily obscured the view of the mechanical arm,” CNN reported. “The cut was a first step toward placing a cap over the well that has spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day since late April.”
BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles told the network the fresh attempt to plug the oil gusher could succeed as early as Thursday. The company plans to fit a long tube onto the cap and funnel the gushing oil into a tanker ship.
The risk of the maneuver, CNN added, is that it could increase the flow of oil by 20 percent.
The British oil giant is also drilling two relief wells to relieve pressure on either side of the gusher, both of which won’t be completed until at least August, BP said.
President Obama on Tuesday demanded a “full and vigorous accounting” of the facts, which may lead to criminal prosecutions of those responsible for the disaster.
The oil gusher has been jetting up to an estimated 120,000 barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico every day since May 22 and BP’s repeated efforts to stem the tide have all failed.
BP claims it has spent nearly $1 billion on spill cleanup. The company has also lost $63 billion in value since the late-April disaster, the Associated Press noted.