4:15 p.m. | Updated Officials for BP on Saturday encountered a significant setback in their efforts to attach a containment dome over a leaking well on the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico, forcing them to move the dome aside while they evaluate find another method to cap the crude oil flowing into the Gulf since April 20.
Officials discovered that gas hydrates, ice-like crystals lighter than water, had built up inside the 100-ton metal container. The hydrates tried to make the dome buoyant, and they also plugged up the top of the dome, preventing it from being effective.
“I wouldn’t say it has failed yet,” Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer, said at a news conference in Robert, La., “what we attempted to do last night hasn’t worked.”
As a consequence, they had to lift the dome off the well and placed it on the seabed.