Cao Welcomes Word of a New Ancillary System for Collecting Oil and Gas from the BP Spill

June 14, 2010

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-02) welcomed news that BP and the Unified Command are implementing a new ancillary system for collecting oil and gas from the leaking well head at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Cao was present today at the Unified Command Center in Robert, Louisiana for a briefing by officials including the Federal On-Scene Coordinator, Admiral Jim Watson, for members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Watson and others described the new system, which extracts oil and gas from the damaged blowout preventer. The extracted oil and gas will be siphoned through a pair of tubes, one of which leads to a containment vessel on the surface, called Q4000. This connection should be in operation by tomorrow. The other tube will send oil and gas to a rig scheduled to in place by the end of this month.

Officials say the tube link to the Q4000 will enable them to collect anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 barrels of oil per day. That’s in addition to the approximately 15,000 barrels a day being collected through the containment cap over the blowout preventer.

During today’s briefing, Cao suggested that in order to keep Louisiana’s oil and gas industry active during the government’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, companies be allowed to continue preparatory drilling without actually tapping reservoirs, thus enabling thousands of oil and gas workers to stay employed without compromising safety or posing the risk of another leak.

Cao said, “This new system is certainly a positive development on the way to the ultimate goal of plugging the leak once and for all. We must do all we can to contain this spill as soon as possible, and anything that helps do that is a step in the right direction.”

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