July 9th, 2010
12:34 PM ET

Big advances in fighting oil leak could come this weekend

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/09/gulf.oil.disaster/smlvid.navyblimp.cnn.jpg caption="Blimp that could be "extremely valuable" to cleanup, heads from New Orleans to Mobile" width=300 height=169]

As people along the Gulf Coast deal with the "daunting challenges" posed by the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, a dual-pronged effort to improve the cleanup shows some promising signs, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the head of the government's oil spill response team, said Friday.

Crews were taking advantage of what Allen called "a weather window that we may not see again this summer" to hook up the oil-recovery vessel the Helix Producer on Friday and they hope to begin replacing the existing containment cap on the leaking well with a larger, more permanent one the Obama administration is calling the "sealing cap" on Saturday.

Allen said the Helix Producer, which can keep up to 25,000 barrels of oil out of the water per day, could be hooked up to the breached well sometime Friday and the ship's recovery capabilities could be functional by Sunday.

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    Thank you for staying on this! But don't forget Florida, please. Already the sales of waterfront homes in SW Florida are falling through because of the spill. While condos and resorts are not as romantic as fishing villages, tourism and retirement are the backbone of our economy here.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  2. Larry Shaffer

    Why is this oil well such a gusher? Oil wells in the US (on land), Kuwait, Mexico etc. do no have this much internal pressure. Is this well an exception? If so why didn't the government require additional wells into the same oil resevoir to lessen the pressure? Something seems unusual here and there appears to be no protocol for such pressure.

    July 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  3. Sonia Silva

    Question: What are they doing with the tar balls they pick up on the beaches and what happens to the plastic bags they are using?
    I hope they are not dumping into the landfills.

    July 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm |

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