June 4th, 2010
01:24 AM ET

BP robots steer cap to spewing well

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/04/t1.bpmaincap.jpg]


Robot submarines steered a new cap to BP's ruptured undersea well in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday in the company's latest attempt to rein in the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

The cap was placed atop the pipe before 10 p.m., but oil and gas continued to spew as engineers attempted to adjust it.

BP CEO Tony Hayward announced that the company had crossed a "milestone" earlier in the day by cutting away the remains of the well's damaged riser pipe. That cleared the way for the dome to be lowered down to the well, 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf, but Hayward said the operation would need several more hours to complete.

"The next 12 to 24 hours will give us an indication of how successful this attempt will be," Hayward told reporters at the company's U.S. headquarters in Houston, Texas.

A Coast Guard spokesman predicted the operation would be completed sometime Thursday night, but said it would not be immediately known whether the cap was working.

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