To cap the leak, BP removes the cap long enough for as much as 5 million gallons to gush out — until the new cap is installed
The government estimates 1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons of oil a day are spewing from the well, and the existing cap is collecting about 1 million gallons of that. With the new cap and the new containment vessel, the system will be capable of capturing 2.5 million to 3.4 million gallons — essentially all the leaking oil, officials said.
SHOOT: They had better hope the weather co-operates.
NEW ORLEANS – Robotic submarines removed the cap from the gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, beginning a period of at least two days when oil will flow freely into the sea.
It's the first step in placing a tighter dome that is supposed to funnel more oil to collection ships on the surface a mile above. If all goes according to plan, the tandem of the tighter cap and the surface ships could keep all the oil from polluting the fragile Gulf as soon as Monday.
It would be only a temporary solution to the catastrophe unleashed by a drilling rig explosion nearly 12 weeks ago. It won't plug the busted well and it remains uncertain that it will succeed.
The oil is flowing mostly unabated into the water for about 48 hours — long enough for as much as 5 million gallons to gush out — until the new cap is installed.
The hope for a permanent solution remains with two relief wells intended to plug it completely far beneath the seafloor.