The plan is to lower heavy, concrete-and-metal boxes into the gulf to capture the oil flow and redirect it to a barge at the surface.
The method has worked in the past, but only in shallow waters. It has never been tried at 5,000 feet below sea level.
“It’s probably easier to fly in space than do some of this,” Charlie Holt, BP’s drilling and completion operations manager in the Gulf of Mexico, said Sunday.
BP projects that the best case scenario for the plan would take at least one week to stop the oil flow. But if that doesn’t work, Plan B would take months to execute.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Sunday that the second option would be to drill a second hole into the ocean floor, and divert the oil to another area to be extracted. But that plan would take about three months to implement.
“You’re looking at potentially 90 days before you ultimately get to what is the ultimate solution,” Slazar said Sunday, alluding to the plan.
In the meantime, 200,000 gallons of oil will continue to pour into the Gulf of Mexico every day until someone figures out how to shut it off.
The oil slick grew over the weekend from the size of Rhoad Island to larger than the state of Delaware, and it is now visible from space.
Al Jazeera posted a great visual breakdown of how the disaster happened.
NASA captured these satellite images last Friday.