Made in Oklahoma Valves Helping Control Gulf Oil Spill
By Ed Murray, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oil is still gushing full force into the Gulf as BP tries to figure out what to do next to stop it. The government halted BP's latest attempt to cap concerned it could lead to other leaks. A relief well is still the permanent solution to stop the flow of oil, but BP has halted drilling for up to 48 hours.
Efforts are still underway in the Gulf to get as much of the escaping oil as possible onto surface ships and BP has turned to an Oklahoma City company for help.
As tar balls and oil continue to wash up along the Gulf Coast, there's plenty going on below the surface at the spill site. Sixteen robot subs are working on various aspects of the problem and a group of Oklahomans just got their first look at their contribution to controlling the flow.
BP has purchased nearly 30 green colored valves from Piper Valve Systems in Oklahoma City to control the flow of crude and keep it out of the water and onto ships on the surface.
"I'm sure the best minds are working on this right now and are coming up with the solutions to this problem and we're just honored to go ahead and play a small role in what's going on right now to try and take care of this," said Britt Piper with Piper Valve Systems.
Piper has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its subsea valves and its ability to drop everything in a crisis. These made in Oklahoma valves are headed to the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the week.
"There is a rush on them...absolutely," said Piper. "Everything we're doing right now is as fast as we can practically get it done."
Piper said, like everyone else, he'll feel fantastic when the well is permanently capped, but until then his company is proud to do its part to minimize the damage.
"It's one of those things. We knew they were down there, but when you finally get a chance to see it, it's pretty gratifying, I think," Piper said.
Company president Rick Piper said when he took the underwater images of the valves down to the manufacturing floor, he could see the pride on the faces of everyone who know they're doing some very important work.
Piper said the company is ready to meet any request but hopes the operation to plug the well can resume as soon as possible.