BP Official - Open Heart Surgery at 5,000 Feet; Believes Cause is Failed Equipment

BP America Chairman and President Lamar McKay told me efforts to try trigger the blowout actuator to stop the flow of oil from the sea floor are like performing “open heart surgery at 5,000 feet in the dark with robot-controlled submarines.” During my exclusive “This Week” interview, McKay said he believes the cause the explosion on the Deep Water Horizon oil rig that led the loss of 11 lives and to its eventual sinking was “a failed piece of equipment”. McKay added, “We don't know why it failed yet in this contracted rig.”

McKay said BP, oil industry and government partners are working on four fronts to manage the massive spill: 1) stopping the leak at the source, 2) working on a containment system to collect the oil below the surface and channel the flow through a pipe, 3) fighting to keep oil from washing up on shore and 4) dealing with the clean-up of any oil on and off shore.

A containment dome, McKay said, has been fabricated and is in the final engineering phase. McKay said he expects the dome to be deployed in 6-8 days.

Estimates of how much oil is emanating from the sea floor are “very difficult,” McKay said, “because you can’t [it] in any way accurately.” He added that “there is a large uncertainty range” around the estimate of 5,000 barrels per day that is said to be flowing from the well.

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