Damage Control

BP Tries Siphoning Tube Again

Another one of several potential fixes to the blown-out well spewing millions of gallons of oil across the Gulf of Mexico—a tube to siphon the oil from the larger busted pipe—foundered, though BP will try the method again Saturday night. The company was attempting to use robots to stick a small tube into a leaking riser (a 21-inch pipe) when the metal frame supporting the siphon shifted, forcing a pullback to the surface. BP is working quickly to adjust the tube so a proper connection can be made soon. The failure comes after a 100-ton device to cover the well was crippled by crystalized hydrocarbons clogging it. Other solutions in the works include the "junk shot," in which old tires, ropes, golf balls, and other debris are forced into the well's blowout preventer. If the junk blocks the hole, BP would then pump in heavy mud and concrete to permanently seal the leak. If the hole can't be plugged, it will take 90 days for another well to be drilled to lower pressure and allow the leak to be capped.