This view from Space ought to give you an idea of the magnitude of this ...ahem!... oil leak.
If all goes according to plan, the tandem of the tighter cap and the tankers could keep all the oil from polluting the fragile Gulf as soon as Monday.
But it would be only a temporary solution to the catastrophe unleashed by a drilling rig explosion nearly 12 weeks ago. It won't plug the busted well and it remains uncertain that it will succeed.
When the cap is removed, oil will flow mostly unabated into the water for about 48 hours — long enough for as much as 5 million gallons to gush out — until the new cap is installed.
The rest of the story: