[Updated at 5:43 p.m.] Crews are in the process of connecting a vessel to the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, said newly retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen. The hookup has been partially completed.
The vessel Helix Producer could draw up to 53,000 barrels of oil a day when it becomes operational, Allen said in Houston, where he traveled to meet with BP
[Posted at 12:52 p.m.] Despite rough weather, the man leading the federal response to the oil disaster believes that the placement of a new containment cap and the deployment of key air and sea resources will eventually stop the massive amounts of oil now gushing from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Newly retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told CNN on Tuesday that over the next seven to 10 days, officials will be monitoring weather patterns to determine when to try to install the cap, a process that will involve unbolting the jagged edge that exists on the structure now. Once completed, the new containment cap, he said, will achieve a perfect seal and keep oil from escaping.
Allen said the new cap "would let us get to a capture rate of 80,000 barrels a day," and said he was planning a trip to Houston, Texas, to talk to BP officials about the plan.