First came the failed containment dome. Then the top kill method. That didn't work, either. Now BP's readying their next attempt at containing the damage, and it's another containment dome. It could also lead to 20 per cent more oil gushing out.
Here's how it'll work, also demonstrated in the video above: this morning, underwater robot arms are making a clean cut across the top of the broken riser pipe so that a containment well can be placed on top of it. The oil would then be siphoned up to containment ships above.
How will this be any different from the previous containment attempt? Before, the effort was foiled by the formation of ice-like crystals that formed as the dome was lowered to the 1500m depth of the rupture. This time, they'll send down a "pipe within a pipe" solution, keeping the containment dome heated enough to be effective.
And if it doesn't work? Well, that clean cut is going to unleash up to 20 per cent more oil than is currently bleeding out. If they can contain it quickly, great! But since there's absolutely no reason to have confidence in BP's triage ability, all we can do is hope for the best and expect the worst.
Oh, and even if it works perfectly? It won't stop all the oil. It's a patch, not a fix. [CBS News]