Thursday, May 6, 2010

BP (LSE:BP) Ready to Lower Steel Box

BP (LSE:BP) (NYSE:BP) is about ready to start lowering the huge box made of concrete in steel in hopes of shutting off the flow of oil into the ocean.

The company has been careful to note they've never done something like this before, and there's no guarantee it'll work.

It's obviously worth a try though, but it is extremely complex and being attempted about 5,000 feet below the surface, which brings a number of challenges with it.

Ice filling the pipes is one of them, and the possibility of an explosion when the mixture of oil, gas and water is attempted to be separated. The ice problem will be attempted to be handled by pumping methanol and warm water through it

It could take up to four hours to lower it to the ocean floor, and it has already been delayed by fumes rising from the water surface which a spark from metal on metal could start a fire.

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