Cofferdam Arrives at Leak Site

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Crewmen guide a cofferdam onto the deck
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Discoverer Enterprise
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Macondo Oil Capture Coffer Dam
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A 100-ton cofferdam that BP and many others hope will capture crude oil leaking from the Macondo well arrived at the leak site in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday morning after an approximately 12-hour voyage from Port Fourchon, La.

Quoting BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, the Associated Press reported that it should take approximately 48 hours to lower the structure over the largest leak and secure it on the seafloor. The drop is expected to begin midday today.

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, BP and Coast Guard officials emphasized that the operation is unprecedented and that the plan is subject to revision. In a best-case scenario, BP stated that the Subsea Oil Recovery System could begin funneling crude oil via riser to a drillship above--and stop the spill--as soon as Monday morning. The system comprises the cofferdam linked via concentric risers to the drillship Discoverer Enterprise, where the crude oil will be processed for storage onshore.

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Deepwater Horizon Images
A crewman aboard secures a cofferdam Two fishing vessels drag an oil boom Workers Prep Booms to Protect Shoreline Development Driller III
Macondo Oil Slick (May 1) Cutting Macondo Riser Macondo Oil Slick (Apr 25) U.S. Air Force aerial spray
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