Oil unleashed temporarily in attempt to contain it

Gallons of oil are being allowed to spew into the fouled waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Updated: Jul 11, 2010, 17:57 PM IST

New Orleans: Hundreds of thousands of
gallons of oil are being allowed to spew into the fouled
waters of the Gulf of Mexico while BP engineers prepare to
install a new containment system they hope will catch it all
in the coming days.

There`s no guarantee for such a delicate operation
nearly 1.5 kilometers below the water`s surface, officials
said, and the permanent fix of plugging the well from the
bottom remains slated for mid-August.

"It`s not just going to be, you put the cap on, it`s
done. It`s not like putting a cap on a tube of toothpaste,``
Coast Guard spokesman Capt James McPherson said.

Robotic submarines removed the cap that had been
placed on top of the leak in early June to collect the oil and
send it to surface ships for collection or burning. BP aims to
have the new, tighter cap in place as early as Monday and said
that, as of yesterday night, the work was going according to

If tests show it can withstand the pressure of the oil
and is working, the Gulf region could get its most significant
piece of good news since the April 20 explosion on the
BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 workers.

"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, of the
round-the-clock operation.