British Petroleum is considering the options after aborting the plan to control a gushing oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ice crystals encased a large containment dome placed on top of the well, which has been spewing oil for more than two weeks.
The crystals made the large concrete and steel box too buoyant and clogged a key opening through which the oil would have been siphoned to the surface.
Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles says the dome is on the seafloor near the leak source, while crews try to figure out the problem.
“It’s very difficult to predict whether we will find solutions,” he said. “As we’ve talked about fairly frequently through this event we’re doing things that have never been done before and it’s difficult to know if they will actually work.”
Suttles says other techniques are being considered to try to stop the leak, though a decision won’t be made before Monday.
“These include activities to try to create a stoppage, plug up the existing blow out preventor to stop flow, or put a second blow out preventor or similar type valve on top of the equipment to stop the flow,” he said.
BP had cautioned that there would be challenges during this unprecedented attempt to divert oil spewing into the waters.
The US Coast Guardi s now reporting tar balls as large as golf balls are now washing up on an island off the coast of Alabama. About half a dozen of the oily globs were collected Saturday on Dauphin Island.
The substance needs to be tested, but officials believe it came from the leaking oil rig.