BP monitoring storm, spill operations continuing

By Kristen Hays and Anna Driver

HOUSTON (BestGrowthStock) – Choppy seas from a weather system strengthening near the Bahamas prompted oil-skimming vessels in the Gulf of Mexico to come ashore Thursday, but BP Plc had not evacuated major operations at the site of its massive oil spill.

“No decisions have been made at this stage,” spokesman Scott Dean said.

Vessels collecting seismic and acoustic data while the leak remains capped during a well pressure test and two rigs that had been drilling a pair of relief wells remain on site, BP said.

The U.S. government’s command center confirmed that some skimmers were stopping operations on Thursday.

“At this point, there has been no Unified Area Command demobilization. There has no evacuation of equipment but that could change Some skimmers have been coming in,” command center spokeswoman Mary Kahn said.

BP and retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said on Tuesday that work had stopped on the first of two relief well intended to intercept and plug the leak by mid-August to wait out the weather.

BP had placed a “storm packer,” or a plug, in the relief well to keep it stabilized until the last set of piping is inserted and cemented in place. Then BP can resume drilling the last 100 feet before boring into the blown-out Macondo well.

Drilling stopped last week on the second relief well before the pressure test began.

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 (Reporting by Kristen Hays and Anna Driver; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

BP monitoring storm, spill operations continuing