The US state of Louisiana faces a race against time to protect its wildlife as a massive oil spill creeps towards the coast.
Officials are erecting inflatable barriers to prevent the oil from getting any closer amid fears that fish and birds could be killed by the pollution.
The crude spill happened when a BP-operated rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded and sank on April 20.
Underwater robots will now be used to funnel the oil to the surface after a giant dome was placed over the leak.
Doug Suttles, BP’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Over the weekend we expect to connect that dome to the drill ship Enterprise, at which time, hopefully at the beginning of next week, we’ll begin to start to evacuate the oil from the seabed up to the surface.”
The company believes the clean-up operation could take up to three months to complete. Calm winds allowed crews on Saturday to carry out controlled burning on some parts of the slick .
Some 11 million litres of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico in what could become the most damaging spill in US history.