Robots begin work to remove cap from gushing well

Yahoo: "The delicate work of removing and replacing a cap over the gushing oil well on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico began Saturday, with robotic submarines hovering around the site.

The hope is to fit a tighter dome that will funnel more oil to collection ships on the surface a mile above. If all goes according to plan, the tandem of the tighter cap and the surface ships could keep all the oil from polluting the fragile Gulf as soon as Monday.

"Over the next four to seven days, depending on how things go, we should get that sealing cap on. That's our plan," said Kent Wells, a BP senior vice president.

It would be only a temporary solution to the catastrophe unleashed by a drilling rig explosion nearly 12 weeks ago. It won't plug the busted well and it remains uncertain that it will succeed.

When the cap is removed, oil will flow mostly unabated into the water for about 48 hours — long enough for as much as 5 million gallons to gush out — until the new cap is installed."

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