HOUSTON, TX—Admiral Thad Allen is in the Bayou City just days after tar ball were discovered on Texas beaches.
As National Incident Commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, retired U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Allen spoke about the ongoing efforts to capture, contain, and cap the leaking oil well during a press conference at British Petroleum's headquarters in West Houston.
"We intend to take the oil coming out of the kill line at this point and hook that up to Helix Producer. They're in the process of trying to hook that up now," said Adm. Allen.
BP is in the process of hooking up a third floating platform known as the Helix Producer. Once the platform is up and running, its estimated it will capture as much as 53,000 barrels of oil a day.
Rough seas have delayed efforts to have the equipment installed by this week, which also includes replacing the oil well's containment cap.
"We'll also be talking about the opportunity to replace that cap with a more permanent cap that will actually be bolted on," said Adm. Allen.
Adm. Allen said drilling continues on two relief wells, which are now within striking distance of the gushing oil well. The relief wells will be used to pump mud and cement into the damaged well in a "bottom kill" method.
Meanwhile, Texas is facing a reality its Gulf neighbors have been dealing with for sometime. On Monday, more tar balls and patties were found near Port Arthur.
"The oil that was discovered yesterday, was over on McFaddin beach. There were two stretches, one was about 500 feet long and another stretch was 250 feet long," said Captain Marcus Woodring with the Houston-Galveston U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard is having the latest find tested to see if the oil is from the Deepwater Horizon spill. A similar test confirmed tar balls found over the weekend in Bolivar and on Galveston were from the Gulf spill. Officials believe the oil may have hitched a ride on ship passing through the area.