Oil Containment Dome Nearly Complete

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A 100-ton, 4-story concrete-and-steel dome made to contain oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is expected be completed today.

BP, which is in charge of the oil containment and clean up efforts from a sunken leaking oil rig it contracted, said it didn't know if the dome would work. "What we do know is that we have done extensive engineering and modeling and we believe this gives us the best chance to contain the oil, and that's very important to us," BP's Bill Salvin told The Associated Press.

Once the dome is finished, it will be lowered 5,000 feet under the Gulf's surface to cover the biggest of two remaining oil leaks on a pipe connected to a well on the rig. Then, the leaking oil will be siphoned from below to a ship above the water's surface. BP was able to cap one of the sources of the largest leaks overnight. That's not expected to change the some 200,000 gallons of oil that are currently spewing from the two other leaks.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, The New York Times reports that a senior BP executive admitted yesterday that the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is more than 10 times what it originally estimated.

For more WQXR coverage on this story, click here and here.

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