NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The federal government said engineers will start work Monday to remove the temporary cap that stopped oil from gushing out of BP's blown-out Gulf well so that crews can raise a key piece of equipment from the seabed.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government's point man for the spill response, told reporters Friday that engineers must remove the cap so they can raise the failed blowout preventer. The blowout preventer is considered a key piece of evidence in determining what caused the April rig explosion that unleashed the gushing oil.
The leak was first contained when engineers were able to place a cap atop BP's well. Workers then pumped mud and cement in through the top in a so-called "static kill" operation that significantly reduced pressure inside the well. Officials don't expect oil to leak into the sea again when the cap is removed, but Allen has ordered BP to be ready to collect any leaking crude just in case.