"Undersea robots were trying to thread a small tube into the jagged pipe that is pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico in BP's latest attempt to cut down on the spill from a blown-out well that has pumped out more than 4 million gallons of crude.
The company planned to move the 6-inch tube into the leaking 21-inch pipe — known as the riser — on Thursday night. The smaller tube will be surrounded by a stopper to keep oil from leaking into the sea, which could be in place by Friday, BP said. The plan is for the tube to siphon the oil to a tanker at the surface.
Since the April 20 drilling rig explosion set off the catastrophic spill, BP PLC has tried several ideas to plug the leak that is spewing at least 210,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf a day. The size of the undulating spill was about 3,650 square miles, or the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, said Hans Graber, director of the University of Miami's Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing."
Allen G. Breed and Curt Anderson report for the Associated Press May 14, 2010.