Tropical Depression Delays BP Relief Well in Gulf of Mexico


Bad weather delayed work on the final feet of the relief well that is intended to permanently fix BP's (BP) ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

A tropical depression is heading for the site from a position off the coast of Florida, and it's expected to strengthen and become a tropical storm today, The Associated Press reported.

Engineers only have about 30 feet to 50 feet left to drill on the relief well, which is intended to allow BP to pump in mud and cement to seal the ruptured Macondo well from below.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Tuesday that testing still needs to be done to decide if work should go ahead on this so-called bottom kill procedure.

"I'm not sure we know that ... I don't want to prejudge whether we are going to do it or not going to do it. It will be conditions-based," Allen said.

Allen had been insisting that the procedure take place, even though the top kill procedure appeared to be working.

Allen said there was a "very low probability" that the bottom kill wouldn't take place.