PORT FOURCHON, La. - BP will try to stop the oil escaping a broken well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico with a four-story metal container, CNN reports. Engineers created the container to cover the pipe and literally suck the leaking oil into the container.
BP officials indicated they would attempt the fix this week, as flowing oil continues to pour into the Gulf. If it works, the "pollution containment chamber" will lower the amount of oil leaking underwater by more than 80 percent. The leak is the result of an April 20 explosion and fire on an offshore oil rig.
"Everyone€™s committed to getting this stopped so we can just focus on a cleanup," said Doug Suttles, COO of BP.
The well lies 5,000 feet under water, and immense pressure prevents humans from working at the source to fix the leak. Unmanned submarines have attempted to correct a broken "blowout preventer" designed to stop any leaks.
The containment chamber, the largest ever built, would straddle the leaking pipe and lock down on the sea floor to gather the oil into the chamber. A tanker would then pipe the oil from the chamber.
Previous containment chambers have been used in shallower waters. "This has been done in shallow water; it's never been done in deep water before," said Suttles.
BP has begun to drill a relief well, but it would be two months before work will be completed and the leaking well could be safely shut down. Thus far, around 2.6 million gallons of oil has escaped from the pipe and into the Gulf of Mexico.