Gulf Oil Spill 2010 Update May 7: Dome Lowered, Photos
Gulf Oil Spill 2010 Update May 7: Containment Dome Begins to be Lowered
A containment dome about the size of a townhouse has begun to be lowered in to the Gulf of Mexico on Friday May 7 in an effort to contain the oil leaking out of the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig. The oil leak is located about 5,000 feet below the surface of the water and the process is slow and delicate, so it is expected to continue in to the weekend according to CNN.
- Freemason Island Hit By Oil Spill
- Map of Where the Oil Spill is Located Now
- BP Tries to Buy Off Alabama Residents
- Wildlife and Fish at Risk From the Oil Spill
This is the first time a method such as this one has been used to cap a leak from a sunken rig.
"If all goes according to plan by early next week, we hope to make it operational," said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer. "As we always do though, we stress this has never been done before. We'll likely encounter numerous challenges, but we'll remain committed to make it work."
Oil reached the shores of Freemason Island on Thursday May 6, which was the first confirmation of oil hitting the shores of Louisiana in a mass quantity, and a pink and orange foam could be seen on the surface of the water.
The rig is still gushing about 5,000 barrels of oil a day in the Gulf of Mexico and the risk for wildlife and for those living along the United States coastline is very high. For now, most hopes rest on the containment dome doing its job, but there are some risks involved including ice getting in the pipes from the coldness of the water and what to do with the oil once it is sucked up the pipe.
If this first dome is successful, a second and smaller dome will be sent to deal with another leak in the pipe.
Photos of the Joe Griffin barge carrying the containment dome: