According to NPR, the containment structure was most recently reported as just 200 feet above the leak. Reuters reports the 98-ton structure is suspended just over the leak while crews using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) prepare for the final placement.
Remember this has never been done. Just as BP’s earlier unsuccessful attempts to close the valves with the ROVs.
The New York Times reports that Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer, said at a press conference yesterday the containment box must completely cover the leaking pipe with a snug fit to the seabed; otherwise the operation could be a failure. Once sealed to the seabed, it will take a couple of days to get everything hooked up to start pumping the oil to a containment ship.
One of the toughest technical challenges is the near-freezing temperature of the water near the seafloor. The operation could be stalled if the connection pipe freezes. Warm water from the surface will be pumped along the pipe in an effort to prevent any clogging, according to Suttles. (NY Times)
I keep thinking of my interview with attorney Brent Coon who told me that the BP Blueprint iwill always give the best case scenario and then have to back off. Does Suttles really think this will work or are we all being played?
—News reports fail to remind the public that this is only handles about 85 percent of the oil leaking from the site. Oil has been leaking in three places since the explosion. One small leak was capped Wednesday. The containment box will be lowered over biggest leak. The rest of the oil is coming from the blowout preventer at the well. Crews have been trying for over two weeks to shut it off using ROVs.
A second box could be built to stop the third, and smaller, leak at the blowout preventer.
To date, an estimated three million gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf from the BP Deepwater Horizon well.