BP Studies Options for Small Dome

New Orleans, La. – Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles says the dome called a "top hat" could be placed over the leaking pipes and be hooked up to a surface ship. Or engineers could link the contraption to the pipe itself.

"One version is actually a collection devise, the other is a piece of pipe we intend to insert into the riser to try to collect the oil from inside the riser and bring it to the drill ship."

But the pipes are fragile and bent at a severe angle after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded three weeks ago, and crews don't want to make things even worse by possibly busting open another hole in the pipe.

"We've got to know where the restriction is in the system before we take any action."

Meantime, about four million gallons of crude have spilled into the Gulf.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.