Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Tropical storm forces gulf clean up fleet to port

BP engineers said they would leave the leaky cap fixed to its crippled Gulf of Mexico well head closed as key ships stationed over the site were ordered to evacuate today as Tropical Storm Bonnie loomed.

Bonnie, which blossomed over the Bahamas and will enter the Gulf of Mexico by the weekend, could delay by another 12 days the push to plug the broken well for good using mud and cement, retired US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen and BP officials admitted.

Even if it is not a direct hit, the rough weather will push back efforts to kill the well by at least a week.

“While this is not a hurricane, it’s a storm that will have probably some significant impacts, we’re taking appropriate cautions,” Admiral Allen said in Mobile, Alabama.

He issued the order today to begin moving dozens of vessels from the spill site, including the rig that is drilling the relief tunnel engineers will use to permanently throttle the free-flowing crude near the bottom of the well. Some vessels could stay on site, he said.

“While these actions may delay the effort to kill the well for several days, the safety of the individuals at the well site is our highest concern,” he said.

A week of steady measurements through cameras and other devices convinced Admiral Allen they did not need to open vents to relieve pressure on the cap, which engineers had worried might contribute to leaks underground and an even bigger blowout.

The cap was attached a week ago, and only minor leaks have been detected.

The storm system caused flooding in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti before reaching tropical storm strength last night and Admiral Allen said crews expected sustained wind above 39mph at the spill site today.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The Gulf oil spill, hurricanes, and the recent heat wave have many searching for answers. The internet is buzzing with articles and excellent blogs. But could it be simply the biblical sequence of God's wrath being poured out upon the earth which is relevant to current events in today's world. What if we are dealing with the wrath of God? Please understand the wrath of God is letting man slip deeper and deeper into the consequences of their own sin. Please visit my website at http://www.revelation-truth.org . Author of the book Final Warning

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.