Option F, the riser insertion tool effort,  is a brand new  recovery option that will utilize remote controlled submarines to insert a narrow 6-inch diameter tube into the main leak in a 21-inch thick riser pipe subsea at 5000 feet.

Essentially, a piece of pipe with a rubber sealing device and flapper system is pushed into the spewing riser as far as possible to stop the gushing oil and funnel it to the surface for collection.

The riser insertion tube is intended to prevent leaking hydrocarbons from contacting seawater and forming methane hydrates, which created a problem with an earlier large containment dome that had to be set aside on the seabed on May 8.

In tandem, a “top hat” containment chamber has been fabricated, shipped and sitting at the bottom of the sea floor.

However, if the tube works, officials said, the smaller dome won’t be necessary.

“It’s one or the other,” said BP spokesman Mark Proegler. Both devices are designed for use at the end of the existing riser.

First things first, the insertion tube will be put into motion on Friday morning with a turn around time of 24-48 hours. If this effort fails, then another look will be given into the top hat even though there are concerns that hydrate gas crystals will form much like that of the large containment chamber. If this effort is successful, it is merely a temporary fix.

Proegler described the procedure as a stopgap measure to limit the oil’s spread until engineers attempt a more permanent solution next week, when they plan to shoot material including golf balls and shredded tires into an array of valves on top of the blowout preventer.

Hopefully, Recovery Option F will stand for fantastic because failure, at this point, is no longer an option.

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