Jul 8, 2010 1:40 PM by Melissa Canone

Rough Weather Could Speed Up Plans To Connect Third Containment Vessel

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rough weather forecasts in the Gulf of Mexico
could force BP and Obama administration officials to speed up plans
to connect a third containment vessel to the blown-out undersea oil
Weather has already delayed plans to hook up the Helix Producer
containment vessel that could collect more than 1 million barrels
of oil per day. Officials have been waiting until the Helix was in
place before replacing the current "top cap" with a
tighter-fitting "sealing cap", a maneuver that requires eight
days of calm weather.
Forecasters say that weather window is available now, leading
officials to consider hooking up the Helix and replacing the cap at
the same time. The simultaneous maneuver would temporarily decrease
the amount of oil being contained, though officials say both the
Helix and the new cap would increase the total amount of contained
oil to about 3.3 million gallons a day.
National incident commander Thad Allen sent BP a letter Thursday
asking about contingency plans in the event they have to proceed
with the simultaneous maneuver. The oil company has 24 hours to


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