BP CEO: Well Head Ready for Cap; May Know Success Within 24 Hours

(Dow Jones Newswires), June 3, 2010

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward said Thursday that the company has finished cutting away the mangled riser of its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico and should know in 12 to 24 hours if the effort to cap the well is a success.

"We made a very important step in being able to cut away the riser, so we now have a relatively clean well head onto which the cap can be placed," Hayward told a news conference. "The next 12 to 24 hours should give us an indication of how successful this attempt will be.

"Following on from this endeavor is a second containment option," he continued. "It is using the subsea system we built out to do the top kill operation in reverse. So rather than pumping mud into the well, we're doing to flow oil and gas back through that system.

"Beyond that, at the end of the month, we will introduce a more permanent containment/production system which will be a fully sealed production system, which will be better able to deal with hurricanes should they arrive."

Hayward also said plans to drill two relief wells are proceeding on schedule, meaning those should be ready in about two months.

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