Published: Aug 30, 2010 5:36 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 31, 2010 4:30 AM EDT

BP PLC says high seas on the Gulf of Mexico have delayed operations to raise the piece of equipment from the seabed that failed to prevent the massive oil spill.

The oil giant, in a Twitter posting Monday, did not say how long the delay would be.

Engineers were supposed to begin the process Monday of removing the temporary cap that stopped more oil from flowing into the sea in mid-July. That was to be a prelude to removing the failed blowout preventer, which is a key piece of evidence in ongoing investigations.

A new blowout preventer will be placed atop the well once the failed one is raised. After that, the goal is to drill the final 50 feet of a relief well.

Engineers will then pump in mud and cement to permanently plug the well that gushed 206 million gallons of oil.