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Storm threat halts work at oil spill site

Storm threat halts work at oil spill site
The threat of a storm has halted any efforts to permanently seal BP's blown- up well in the Gulf of Mexico. The government stated that in case the storm moved in that well would have to be closed off and the ships would be left unattended.

On Thursday evening Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who leads the federal response effort stated that many ships were already set to retire since the tropical depression had developed into a tropical storm. Among the others preparing to evacuate was also the all important drill rig. The drill rig that is working on a relief well,was considered to be ultimate way to seal the well. The process of disconnecting the riser pipe from the rig had already begun, however this process is expected to take about 12 hours.

Admiral Allen said that the drill rig that is working on the relief well is most likely to be among the first to leave because it travels very slowly. The other ships that are better able to handle higher seas and travel faster would leave a little later.

But the decision has been made to leave the well capped. This decision was made at the recommendation of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and BP. This decision was taken since the well is undamaged and that there is little risk it would deteriorate if kept under pressure.

Mr. Wells also stated that the storm would delay operations by approximately 10 to 12 days, depending on its severity and how close it passed by the site. This in turn would push back completion to the middle of August.

According to the National Weather Service the tropical depression would be the third in what is expected to be a busy hurricane season. Finally a spokesman for the private weather service AccuWeather stated that the storm would probably reach the area of the well site late Saturday or early Sunday.