Relief wells suspended, ‘Storm Packer’ inserted; “Could be two weeks before they can resume”

Thursday, July 22, 2010
By Paul Martin
July 22nd, 2010

Ships ready to leave leaky well as storm brews, Associated Press, July 22, 2010 at 5:48 a.m.:

Just days before the expected completion of a relief well designed to permanently throttle the free-flowing crude, the government’s spill chief [Thad Allen] said Wednesday that work was suspended. …

If the work crews are evacuated, it could be two weeks before they can resume the effort to kill the well. That would upset BP’s timetable, which called for finishing the relief tunnel by the end of July and plugging the blown-out well by early August. …

BP put the [relief well drilling] on hold and instead placed a temporary plug called a storm packer deep inside the tunnel, in case it has to be abandoned until the storm passes.

“What we didn’t want to do is be in the middle of an operation and potentially put the relief well at some risk,” BP vice president Kent Wells said.

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