July 10, 2010
Allen approves installation of sealing cap on leaking well
BP is attempting to install a new sealing cap system on the leaking Deepwater Horizon site well. The new cap has the potential to contain all of the oil from the well, and to aid future well kill efforts associated with the ongoing relief well operations.
The presentation by BP Senior VP Kent Wells in the embedded video gives an overview of what's planned.
BP removed the existing cap from the riser pipe of the gushing well at 12.37 p.m. CDT Saturday.
That means that, for a period of days, the leak will be uncontained as BP works to replace the containment system with a more efficient one.
The operation was approved Friday by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen. The previous day he had written BP Chief Managing Director Bob Dudley directing BP to provide - within 24 hours -- more detailed plans and timelines relating to efforts to stop the leaking oil and protect the shoreline.
After approving the operation, Admiral Allen said that after reviewing Mr. Dudley's response consulting top government scientists and engineers, he had "approved BP's plan to simultaneously install the Helix Producer and 'capping stack' containment mechanisms, which will require temporary suspension of the current top hat containment system. I validated this plan because the capacity for oil containment when these installations are complete will be far greater than the capabilities we have achieved using current systems. In addition, favorable weather expected over the coming days will provide the working conditions necessary for these transitions to be successfully completed without delays. The transition to this new containment infrastructure could begin in the next days but will take seven to ten days to complete. I have also directed BP to provide daily briefings and regular informational updates to the media throughout this capping process."