Hopes High for New Cap on Gushing BP Well

New device, support ship could pump out 25K barrels a day
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2010 4:31 PM CDT
In this image made from video released by British Petroleum (BP PLC), a saw trims part of the blowout preventer at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Thursday June 3, 2010 in preparation for...   (AP Photo/BP PLC)
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(Newser) – The effort to plug the gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could make significant progress this weekend, as a larger containment cap and its support vessel arrive at the spill site. Coast Guard officials say a window of clear weather over the next few days could provide a rare opportunity to hook up the larger version of the "top hat," which Obama administration officials are calling the "sealing cap," CNN reports.

The sealing cap will hook up up to the oil-recovery vessel known as the Helix Producer, which can pump out 25,000 barrels of oil a day. The long-term containment cap will also provide, for the first time, accurate estimates of the amount of oil spewing into the gulf. Meanwhile, efforts to dig relief wells continue, with experts estimating that the first well will intercept the Deepwater Horizon well in 7 to 10 days.

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