Crews prepare to raise failed blowout preventer, key piece of evidence in BP’s oil spill

By Harry R. Weber, AP
Friday, September 3, 2010

Crews prepare to raise failed blowout preventer

NEW ORLEANS — A vessel has latched onto a key piece of evidence in the oil spill investigation so crews can raise the 300-ton device to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

BP says the Helix Q4000 latched onto the blowout preventer a mile beneath the sea on Friday morning.

The plan is to replace the failed blowout preventer first to deal with any pressure that is caused when a relief well BP has been drilling intersects the blown-out well.

Once that intersection occurs, BP is expected to use mud and cement to plug the blown-out well for good from the bottom.

On Thursday, a temporary cap that stopped oil from gushing into the Gulf in mid-July was removed. No more oil is expected to leak into the sea.

An April 20 rig explosion killed 11 workers and led to 206 million gallons of oil spewing from BP’s well.

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