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How the top kill operation works (if it works)

From Green Right Now Reports

We’ve had to learn a lot while watching the excruciating efforts to cap the gushing BP oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest lesson on the chalk board is about deep sea pressures. The water pressure is so great at a mile below the surface  (about 2,640 PSI) that pumping material back into the ruptured oil pipe is an incredibly difficult feat. It calls for a special potion of drilling “mud” of just the right consistency to hold up against the force of the oil gushing out, and yet not freeze before doing its job or collapse at deep sea pressures and temperatures.

As with all previous attempts to cap the oil well break, this one carries a risk of failure, but also an added risk that it could cause the oil pipe to spring a new leak, unleashing more havoc into gulf waters.

“The top kill procedure has never before been attempted at these depths and its ultimate success is uncertain,” BP says.

Here’s a graphic of the “top kill” operation put out by the Deepwater Horizon Response team.

Bill Nye, the Science Guy, has been on CNN in recent days explaining how this drilling mud can work: