The Associated Press
Vessels gather at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site over the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast Tuesday.
BP is getting ready for another round of delicate work at the oil spill site. Under the supervision of federal investigators, BP is submitting a plan to remove the giant blowout preventer that failed and allowed the massive leak.
It could provide critical insight into what went wrong. But federal officials are being careful to ensure the work won't lead to a new leak.
BP has been given the go-ahead to remove the failed blowout preventer from its fractured well in the Louisiana gulf.
Incident Commander Thad Allen directed BP to submit a plan; a plan that preserves any evidence of how the disaster happened; one that minimizes the possibility of another leak.
"Because frankly, we want a stake in the heart of this well. We want it put away forever, and we don't want any threat of further discharge to the environment," said Allen.
Pressure tests have shown the blowout preventer can be removed with minimal risk. A so-called fishing procedure will look for the fractured pipe or parts of a pipe that will help investigators learn more about what went wrong.
Even as crews try to close the well out for good, researchers are still trying to assess the damage. The woods whole oceanographic institute announced its crews have found a massive cloud from the spill more than half a mile below the Gulf surface. It's more than a mile wide and stretches twenty two miles.