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.
New Orleans, La. – Mariner says the fire was on the upper deck of the two-story platform. The Coast Guard says Mariner initially reported an oil sheen a mile long and 100 feet wide, but the government can't find it. Captain Peter Troedsson says the Coast Guard will use vessels and aircraft to check for leaks. He says he's not sure if oil is leaking underwater from the seven wells connected to the platform.
New Orleans, La. – Weather conditions at the well site are calming down enough to allow surface ships to begin taking off the capping stack. National Incident Commander Thad Allen says the first step is removing the device that's kept oil from gushing into the Gulf since mid-July.
"At that point, the blowout preventer will be open, basically, and we'll be relying on the cement plug - about 5,000 feet of cement was put in during the static kill."
New Orleans, La. – Jindal says the moratorium could be disastrous for an economy that depends on supporting deepwater drilling. He made the point directly to two panel members visiting New Orleans.
"Many of these smaller businesses are seeing reduced business, They're seeing their employees having to have fewer hours and take pay cuts to survive, and the uncertainty is what's driving a lot of their fears."
New Orleans, La. – The government had planned to start removing the blowout preventer and capping stack on the well this week. But National Incident Commander Thad Allen says he doesn't want the equipment damaged as it's lifted off the well and hauled to the surface.