New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says a third containment system set to go on line this week has been delayed. He says 10- to 12-foot seas are expected for the next few days.
"When we get over about 5 foot of seas they're going to have to stop the preparations for the Helix Producer which was the third production vessel we were going to bring in on the 30th of June to hook to the new vertical riser to increase our production up to 53,000 barrels."
The Helix was supposed to work alongside a shuttle tanker to contain oil from lines connected to the well's blowout preventer a mile under water. Allen says if winds go over 40 miles-an-hour, the containment system will be shut down. It would take two weeks to resume collecting oil.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.