NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The delicate work of removing and replacing a cap over the gushing oil well on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico has started.
BP officials said Saturday that undersea robots were preparing to take off the existing cap. The hope is to fit a tighter dome that will funnel more oil to collection ships on the surface a mile above. The next steps will prepare the seal for the new cap.
It will get worse before it gets better. Oil will flow into the Gulf without being collected from the well head until the new cap is attached.
If all goes well, the oil could be contained sometime Monday. A permanent solution is still weeks off. That involves an attempt to plug the well far below the gushing well head.