Undersea robots work on oil leak

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BP engineers are using undersea robots to try to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The robots have manoeuvred a massive metal chamber to within 200 feet of a gushing ruptured oil well.

The four-story structure was lowered toward the seabed almost one mile below the surface in an attempt to funnel the escaping oil to a surface tanker.

BP hopes that the containment dome will begin funneling oil from the leak next week. The next three to four days will be spent making the connections to try to pump crude to the surface.

But the devices has never been tried at that depth, where engineers guiding remotely operated vehicles battle darkness, currents and intense undersea pressure.

The company is drilling a relief well to halt the leak that could take two or three months to complete. Engineers have also considered pumping heavy fluids into the top of the failed blowout preventer to plug the leaking well in a technique called "top kill."

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