BP is hoping at long last to have found a way of at least curbing the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
It has begun sawing off extraneous pipes at the seabed site ahead of trying to fix a containment cap on top of a failed blowout preventer.
Once that’s in place, the leaking oil and gas will be channelled through a pipe that connects the cap to a drillship over one-and-half-kilometres above the seafloor.
The energy giant’s chief operating officer says the process could be working within 24 hours.
That will be a relief of some sorts as US Attorney General Eric Holder announced he was beginning a criminal and civil investigation into America’s worst oil spill.
“The investigation that we have begun is a comprehensive one and we will be looking at a wide range of things, everything from false statements to the way in which certain entities conducted themselves. There is really nothing that is off the table at this point,” Holder said.
BP is still counting on a pair of relief wells being drilled to plug the leak completely, but they won’t be finished until mid-August. In the meantime it has said it promises to cooperate with any inquiry the US justice department wishes to undertake.