Gulf Oil Spill: Failed Containment Dome Leads to Junk Shot

BP is planning a makeshift solution for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill since efforts to control the leak with a massive containment dome have failed.


Although the containment dome was set in place, the opening through which the oil was meant to flow through became clogged with ice-like build-ups known as crystalline water based solids. Once officials noticed the build-up, the containment dome was moved aside, according to a BBC News article.

Further options for BP include raising the original containment dome to melt the build up or creating a new, smaller containment dome. 

The oil giant has also announced they will attempt what is known as a “junk shot.” Basically, they will be forcing a collection of shredded tire pieces and golf balls into the blowout preventer in hopes of clogging the leak. Officials compared the procedure to the simple clogging of a toilet, but they know it will not be that simple.

This trick could stop the flow of oil, but many experts warn that a mistake could significantly increase it.

So far, BP has spent approximately $350 million for the clean up, but estimates suggest their eventual total could reach over $10 billion.

The oil slick has reached the coastline in different areas including Alabama and Louisiana. The U.S. Government has once again approved the use of the dispersant chemicals to reduce the amount of oil washing up on shore, but wildlife will probably be harmed as a result. The mass of oil has grown to cover approximately 2,000 square miles.

This oil spill is continuing to point out how unprepared we are to take on such ambitious ways of acquiring oil. The fact that we created an emergency shut-off system that doesn’t work every time indicates our inability to fully control the operations of an oilrig.

Now that a highly advanced piece of technology has failed to work, we have resorted to stuffing trash into the leak. Again, this shows how little the oil industry has prepared for potential catastrophe.

 The title “junk shot” seems perfectly suited for the idea. We can only hope it works better than it sounds like it will.


7 Long-term effects of oil spill – The Huffington Post


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