“We don’t have any idea how to stop this,” expert says.

Saturday, May 15, 2010
By Paul Martin

Gulf Oil Leaks Could Gush for Years

Christine Dell’Amore
National Geographic.com

If efforts fail to cap the leaking Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico (map), oil could gush for years—poisoning coastal habitats for decades, experts say.

Last week the joint federal-industry task force charged with managing the spill tried unsuccessfully to lower a 93-ton containment dome (pictures) over one of three ruptures in the rig’s downed pipe.

Crystals of methane hydrates in the freezing depths clogged an opening on the box, preventing it from funneling the spouting oil up to a waiting ship.

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