Thursday, August 19, 2010
Official: Gulf Well To Be Killed After Labor Day : NPR
The government has given BP the go ahead to replace the failed blowout preventer in the Gulf of Mexico as a first step toward permanently plugging the Deepwater Horizon well that caused one of the worst oil spills in history.
Ret. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander for the disaster, gave the green light to replace the blowout preventer, or BOP, after engineers from the British oil giant expressed concern that they could break a temporary plug installed last month as part of the permanent "bottom kill" procedure.
In a letter addressed to top BP Group executive Bob Dudley, Allen said that based on meeting of the Government Scientific Technical Team on Wednesday, he was authorizing the company to "proceed with the course of action to replace [the] BOP."
The bottom kill involves using a relief well drilled into the side of the main bore as a conduit to drive cement in, making the plug permanent. That was supposed to take place this month, but the replacement of the blowout preventer would delay the final capping by a few weeks, Allen said.