Using underwater robots, BP engineers worked on Sunday to replace a cap over a gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico as part of a new attempt to contain the worst environmental disaster in US history. The old cap loosely covering the well was removed by the robots on Saturday as the first step in the operation. A fleet of about 400 skimmers crowded around the well site to boost shoreline defence during the complex operation, BP said, as the oil giant struggled to put an end to the spill.
“Over the next four to seven days, depending on how things go, we should get that sealing cap on. That’s our plan,” the BP senior vice-president, Mr Kent Wells, told reporters. “We’ve been 24/7 since the beginning and that will continue until the end,” he said late on Saturday. The cap aims to provide a temporary solution to the devastating spill triggered after the BP-leased Deepwater-Horizon rig exploded and sank nearly three months ago. An estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil has been gushing out of the ruptured well each day.