Thad Allen: ‘Very Close to Containing 100 Percent of the Oil’

By Kate McCarthy

Jul 12, 2010 9:20am

Admiral Thad Allen struck a very optimistic tone on day 84 of the oil spill telling me that after the new cap is placed on the well one way or another they will be “very close to containing 100 percent of the oil.”

“The two options that are very good coming out of this, one we can shut the well in,” Allen said. “The other one is we can produce the total amount of oil that is coming out of the well.”

Should the team successfully siphon all of the oil to the ships on the surface, the admiral said that there will be enough ships there to receive it.

“We actually have shuttle takers that are coming in that will allow us to do that…Around the 17th of July there will be four floating production platforms that will be capable of producing anywhere between [60,000] and 80,000 barrels a day,” he said.

Allen said he didn’t push BP to go ahead with the replacement cap. Rather, it was the nice weather that dictated this.

“We got a break on the tropical depressions that usually go through this time of year. And if we were going to get the weather to do it, it was going to have to be now,” he said.

But as optimistic as Allen was about the prospect of capturing all of the oil, he didn’t echo BP’s hopes that the relief well will be in place by the end of the month.

“It depends on how they have to put mud and cement in it…If the oil is coming up through the outside ring and you seal that first you can obviously improve on the timeline,” Allen told me. “But we won’t know that until we actually penetrate the well bore.”

Watch my interview here:

George Stephanopoulos

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