Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Reaches Land

6 May 2010 (Last Updated May 6th, 2010 18:30)

The oil slick from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, US, has reached the Louisiana shore. US officials have confirmed that a sheen of oil has washed up on Chandeleur Islands, an important breeding and nesting area for birds. News that the oil has come

The oil slick from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, US, has reached the Louisiana shore.

US officials have confirmed that a sheen of oil has washed up on Chandeleur Islands, an important breeding and nesting area for birds.

News that the oil has come ashore came as BP workers began lowering a containment dome on to the seabed, in the hope that it will help close the leak spilling over 5,000 barrels of oil into the sea every day.

The 100-tonne containment vessel is designed to collect as much as 85% of the oil pouring into the Gulf and funnel it up to a tanker.

It could take several hours to lower it into place by crane, after which a steel pipe will be installed between the top of the box and the tanker.

It is expected that the whole structure will be in operation by Sunday.

The Transocean-owned Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on 20 April, with 11 workers missing, presumed dead.