They are lowering the dome today,in pretty much darkness 1 mile down in the water to the seabed.I would imagine if they can put this over the wellhead (1 in 50,000 chances) it will be ready by next week for pumping out oil.If this contraption sits over the wellhead full of water already and now takes in the thousands of gals of oil erupting from the well in the contraption dont one believe the walls would be blown out by the force of oil coming in,as its full of water already,The force of the oil shooting out from the well must be astonomical and would this structure just fall apart created by the force.comments.
Based on the limited information we all have, myself included, I feel they have a 1 in 2 chance of pulling this off. The robotic subs are amazing in their capabilities. It's like watching a kid play XBox 360 - a kid that knows what he's doing. I think they'll be able to position it - it's just the high pressure will be an issue. Once the box is in place and they get the relief pipe operating, then the oil loss into the Gulf will go down dramatically.
Someone wrote they felt 15-20% of the oil would still leak out. If they can get good negative pressure on the pipe, it should be much less than that.
That's the challenge on these message boards. For every 50 posts full of crap you'll only find one good one - and that's on a good day. If you look at the diameter of the pipe that is currently spewing oil, and then look at the diameter of the top of the dome, as well as the slot in the one wall of the dome, you have a larger cross-sectional area to relieve pressure. Thus, oil will escape out of the dome until they put negative pressure on it, at which point the oil will tend to float upward and will travel up the pipe. But as they noted (and I'm assuming you understand standard temperature and pressure theory) the cold water coupled with the high pressure could result in icing in the pipe - that's why they have the warming collar on the outside of the pipe.
I think they have some kinks to work out but I do think they have a legitimate shot of making this work.