News > BP drilling crew on weather watch
Crews drilling the relief well designed to finally cap the Deep Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico have been put on weather watch as a cluster of thunderstorms have developed in the gulf. The National Hurricane Center is watching the cluster in the far eastern Gulf of Mexico which forecasters say may pass near to the spill site. The forecasters do not think the thunderstorms will develop into a huricane, they but could well reach Tropical Storm levels, and at their present rate of travel they could hit the spill site just as BP drills the final 30 metres of the relief well. "We are keeping a very close eye on the weather and will adjust if necessary," BP spokesman John Curry said on Monday. But as yet the company has no plans to suspend the drilling.
The weather has to be good for the final phase because it is a very difficult operation. The operator will guide a drill head more than 3.2km beneath the seabe,d which is 4.8km below the surface, trying to hit a target smaller than a dartboard with a drill head about as wide as a grapefruit. But the man BP has picked for the job, John Wright, has hit the mark every time when capping wells across the world over the last four decades. "Out of 40 relief wells that I've drilled, we've never missed yet. I've got high confidence we will take care of this problem," said Mr Wright on getting the call. If he is successful, engineers will perform a 'bottom kill' by pouring in mud and cement to permanently seal the blown-out well which has spewed an estimated 783.5 million litres into the gulf since April this year.