New Orleans, La. – National Incident Commander Thad Allen says the 300-ton device was clogged with icy slush as it was slowly lifted off the sea floor a mile under the surface. Crews have been making sure the equipment subpoenaed as evidence is flushed out and preserved. Allen says the well remains plugged from the top with mud and cement, and the new blowout preventer is secured.
"This well does not constitute a threat to the Gulf of Mexico at this point, but we need to finish the work related to the relief well and the plugging and abandonment which will need to move forward."
A relief well will resume drilling the final few feet needed to intersect the broken well from the bottom. Allen says the final cementing could be finished next week.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.