NEW ORLEANS - BP hopes to keep using its giant stopper to block oil from reaching the Gulf of Mexico until they plug the blown out well permanently, the company said Sunday.
"No one associated with this whole activity ... wants to see any more oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico," said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer. "Right now we don't have a target to return the well to flow."
The government's pointman for the disaster, retired US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, outlined a different plan on Saturday, saying that after the test was complete, the cap would be hooked up through nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) of pipes stretching to ships on the surface that will collect the oil.
But that would mean oil would have to be released back into the Gulf for three days to release pressure from the well, Suttles said. The oil giant instead hopes to keep the oil shut in until its permanent plug measure is completed, although Suttles said BP was taking it day by day.