BP Removes Cap as Oil Gushes Freely
It's part of a days-long plan to put a tighter cap in place
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 10, 2010 2:13 PM CDT
In this image taken from video provided by BP PLC, the arm of a remotely operated vehicle works at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site.   ((AP Photo/BP PLC) NO SALES)
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(Newser) – Robotic submarines removed the cap from the gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico today, beginning a period of at least two days when oil will flow freely into the sea. It's the first step in placing a tighter dome that is supposed to funnel more oil to collection ships. If all goes according to plan, the tandem of the tighter cap and the surface ships could keep all the oil from polluting the fragile Gulf as soon as Monday.

In the meantime, the oil is flowing mostly unabated into the water for about 48 hours—long enough for as much as 5 million gallons to gush out—until the new cap is installed. Work also continues on a permanent solution—the drilling of two relief wells.