BP relief well rigs to move due to storm: Transocean

HOUSTON (BestGrowthStock) – Two rigs that have been drilling relief wells at BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico oil leak are preparing to move out of Tropical Storm Bonnie’s path, a spokesman for the rig operator said on Friday.

Transocean Ltd spokesman Guy Cantwell said the rigs are pulling riser pipes associated with drilling from the sea and “preparing to move.”

The interruption could delay the first relief well’s target date of mid-August to intercept and kill the leak to late August, according to retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the top U.S. official overseeing the spill response.

Cantwell said nonessential workers have been evacuated from both rigs as a precaution.

BP spokesman Steve Rinehart said all ships and rigs at the site were expected to move on Friday.

Kent Wells, BP’s senior vice president of exploration and production, said on Thursday that of all the ships and rigs at the spill site, the relief well rigs needed the most time to disconnect and move.

Two other rigs that had been capturing oil before a cap shut in all the flow last week — Helix Energy Solutions’ Helix Producer and Q4000 — “have slightly lower tee times,” Wells said.

Late on Thursday, Allen ordered that all ships and vessels disconnect and move out of Bonnie’s path.

A cap on the wellhead will remain sealed while vessels are gone. Allen directed BP to ensure that ships that operate underwater robots that provide live feeds of the wellhead be the last to leave and the first to return to minimize the lack of monitoring.

Rinehart said BP will try to maintain some surveillance of the spill site as long as possible.

“We’ll do as much aerial surveillance as we can do, depending on the weather in the course of the storm crossing,” he said.

Stock Report

(Reporting by Kristen Hays; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

BP relief well rigs to move due to storm: Transocean