Press Briefing by National Incident Commander Thad Allen, August 23, 2010 at 12:30 p.m. EDT:
Mark Peters, Dow Jones: When do you hope to remove the pipe? What is just the current timetable on when the diagnostics would end and when you would hope to remove the riser pipe?
Thad Allen: We had a rough estimate to conduct the fishing experiment, if you will, for three days, which started on Saturday morning, so we're into the third day constructively. It'll depend, I would say, on the diagnostics we're doing inside the blowout preventer right now on the position of the rams, and that'll probably be something that will be discussed among the BP engineers in our science team later on today about, have we exhausted every possibility to remove the pipe? And if that's not going to be feasible, how are we going to move to the next step? And those are the discussions that are happening as we speak today.
We had hoped to have this done in about three days, and we're almost at the end of three days. So had we stayed on schedule, we were looking to try and do the blowout preventer on the 26th of August, swap them out. If we have to wait another day on the pipe, that could move to the right a little bit.
But right now, our goal was originally to complete this in three days. It may go a little beyond that only because of the diagnostics in the BOP right now.