A giant concrete-and-steel dome has been ferried to the site of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. British Petroleum are pinning their hopes on it containing the disastrous spill.
The contraption is to be used to funnel out oil gushing from the bottom of the sea off the coast of Louisiana.
But the task is fraught with technical challenges. It will be the first time a containment dome has ever been deployed at a depth of 1500 meters.
BP’s Doug Suttles explained: “Over the weekend we will attach the dome to the drill ship Enterprise with a riser and pipework assembly which will allow the oil to flow up to the surface and be processed. So, if all goes to plan, we should begin to start that operation – the beginning of trying to process the fluids on the surface and stop the spill into the sea – on Monday.”
Weather conditions in the area indicate for now the giant oil slick is not expected to move much for around 72 hours.
That means a slight respite for fishermen and conservationists who have been anticipating an environmental disaster ever since BP’s oil rig exploded and sank two weeks ago.