A 98-ton concrete and steel dome that it is hoped will help contain the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has arrived on site.
The aim is to lower the containment chamber or cofferdam a 1.5 kilometres down to the seabed to cut off most of the hundreds of thousands of litres of oil spewing from a blown out well.
But the US Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, tempered expectations sazing: “I hope it works. It has not been used at that depth before, but we are still proceeding as if it won’t. If it does that of course would be a major positive development.”
The dome is just one of the measures oil giant BP has in the works to try to contain the spill after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20 killed 11 workers and set in motion an environmental catastrophe.
If successful, the chamber will funnel around 85 percent of the oil pouring from the main leak site to tankers on the surface.