HOUSTON, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- British energy giant BP on Tuesday suspended drilling on a relief well expected to intercept the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico due to bad weather.
The suspension would push the interception date, initially expected Thursday or Friday, to sometime between Sunday and next Tuesday, said Thad Allen, the U.S. commander for the oil spill.
Crews had pulled the drilling string out, put a plug in the casing pipe and filled the riser with seawater to make the pipe stay stable, according to Allen.
However, he said the drilling apparatus will remain on the site because the weather was not projected to be very strong.
BP spokesman Max McGahan also said the company stopped drilling because of the weather. "We remain on location, but we've suspended drilling."
The relief well had been drilled down some 17,909 feet below the sea level and was only 30 to 40 feet away from the outside casing of the crippled oil well.
BP aims to permanently seal the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico with a "bottom kill" after the relief well intercepts it.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tuesday that a low- pressure system off the southwestern coast of Florida was moving west-northwest in the Gulf of Mexico.
The weather system had a 60 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression in the next two days as it moves toward the Louisiana coast, the Center said.
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