Three Months to Contain Oil Spill?

Created: May 03, 2010 14:46 | Last updated: July 31, 2020 00:00

So say White House and BP officials, who warned today that it might be July before they’re able to plug the leak that’s spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The Washington Post reports:

BP chief executive Tony Hayward said Monday that “the worst-case scenario is that we would need to contain this for two to three months whilst a relief well is drilled.”

There are other, more timely scenarios being considered as well, the Post adds.

Speaking on the “Today” show, Hayward said the company is also trying two other ways to deal with the spill: using robotic submarines to seal off the leaks, a process that so far has not succeeded and that he described as “like conducting heart surgery 5,000 feet beneath the sea”; or building containment domes — akin to the hood over a stovetop — that can be lowered onto three separate leaks and allow the oil to be captured and pumped to the surface. The 74-ton steel domes are being built and will be in the field within seven to eight days, officials said.

All sides agree that the BP will absorb all the costs of cleaning up the spill. “They are the responsible party,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, according to the Post.

“They are going to end up paying for the federal government’s cost, for the states’ and, most importantly, for the individuals and communities that are going to be most directly impacted.”