BP Lowers 'Top Hat', Second, Smaller Containment Dome Over Gulf Oil Spill
BP is trying the “if at first you don't succeed” method of oil spill containment, lowering a second, smaller box over its still-gushing underwater leak.
The first box the company tried failed on Saturday, when ice-like crystals formed, making it float, CNN explains. That device was a whopping four stories tall, but this new one, dubbed “top hat,” is just 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide.
The "top-hat" cofferdam, a 5-foot-tall, 4-foot-diameter structure, weighs less than 2 tons. The structure was deployed by the drill ship Enterprise.
BP built the smaller dome after a much larger, four-story containment vessel, designed to cap the larger of two leaks in the well, developed glitches Saturday. Ice-like hydrate crystals formed when gas combined with water and blocked the top of the dome, making it buoyant.