I’m getting multiple attempts from multiple sites, so far I have counted 3-7 attempts. The citation below I feel is the most reliable to answering your question, and I counted 6 unsuccessful attempts plus the successful one, making it 7 tries to stop the oil.
Attempt #1) May 5 — As satellite imagery experts forecast the oil slick would float northeast, coastal towns in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida protect their seashores. Some of the floating oil is burned, and BP manages to cap one of three leaks at the well, but that didn’t slow the flow.Attempt #2) May 7 — BP begins to lower the cofferdam containment dome, says it expects to have it up and running by Monday. BP is also drilling a relief well, which should eventually halt the flow of oil but could take three months. Attempt #3) May 8 — As BP lowers the containment dome, gas hydrates — ice-like solids that form when methane gas combines with water under certain conditions — clog the opening at the top of the dome, preventing oil from being funneled to the surface, says Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer.Attempt #4) May 15 — BP inserts a tube into the broken pipe Saturday night but one of the subsea robots collides with the pipework and the pipe gets dislodged. The whole operation has to be started again.Attempt #5) May 30 — BP stops the top-kill effort. The company says in a statement that despite pumping over 30,000 barrels of mud in three attempts, the operation “did not overcome the flow from the well,” and announces plans to try to contain the flow of oil from the leak with a “lower marine riser package,” or cap. Attempt #6) May 31 — BP begins its third (actually sixth) attempt to contain oil from its leaking well. The latest procedure involves slicing off the leaking pipe at the top of the well’s broken blow-out preventer, placing a cap over the leak and channeling the captured oil and gas to a vessel on the surface. Attempt #7) July 15-18 — BP closes valves on a new cap and announces that oil has stopped leaking into the Gulf. Testing of the cap, originally scheduled to last 48 hours, is extended to allow for additional monitoring of the sea floor for signs of new leaks.
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