It is now day 44 for the gulf oil spill disaster and thousands of gallons of oil continue to gush from the well. “Top Kill” and “Junk Shot” have failed and the greatest engineering minds in the world are searching for the best way to stop the stream oil pouring into the gulf waters.
The latest effort, “Cut and Cap,” involves an undersea robot equipped with a diamond wire cutter to cut off the damaged riser pipe just above the failed blow-out preventer. This risky maneuver will increase the flow of the oil spilling from the well by 100,000 gallons per day until engineers are able to place a custom fit cap over the well stub. This method will not stop the flow of oil but if successful will allow most of the oil to be captured and pumped to boats on the surface nearly a mile above.
The sheen of oil has been confirmed about nine miles from the white sand beaches of Pensacola and will inevitably make landfall in the near future. Crews have been working to shore up miles of booms but are prepared for to the oil to reach shore as early as today.
Over 125 miles of coastline spanning three states has already been impacted by the spill and Florida will soon be the forth.
Since the explosion and subsequent sinking of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon on April 20th it is estimated that between 20 and 40 million gallons of oil have been released into the gulf from the spewing well, vastly eclipsing the 11 million gallons that was spilled in the Exxon-Valdez disaster.
For the moment we can all just hope that “Cut and Cap” is successful and BP can begin capturing most of the oil gushing from the well.