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BP admits unprepared for Gulf spill; pipe awaits cut

 

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BP's top executive acknowledged this morning the global oil giant was unprepared to fight a catastrophic deepwater oil spill as engineers were forced yet again to reconfigure plans for executing their latest gambit to control the Gulf of Mexico gusher.

BP PLC planned to use giant shears to cut a pipe a mile below the sea after a diamondtipped saw became stuck halfway through the job, another frustrating delay in six weeks of failed efforts to stop or at least curtail the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The government's point man for the disaster, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said on the NBC "Today" show the cut would be made later today.

Once the riser pipe is cut, BP hopes to cap it and start pumping some crude to a surface tanker, which would reduce but not end the spill. The next chance for stopping the flow won't come until two relief wells meant to plug the reservoir for good are finished in August, after an effort to staunch the gusher with heavy mud failed Saturday.

 
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