Admiral Thad Allen said oil processing continues to increase - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Admiral Thad Allen said oil processing continues to increase

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By Jessica Bowman – email 

PORT SULPHUR, LA (WLOX) - As oil continues spewing from ground zero Admiral Thad Allen was in Louisiana waters Thursday getting a better perspective of how oil is affecting the marshes there. He said as clean up efforts continue oil processing at the well head is increasing.

By next week three oil processing ships will be at the well head. During a press briefing in Port Sulphur Admiral Allen said by the end of June officials hope to process more than 50 thousand barrels of oil per day on location.

Admiral Thad Allen said right now there are more than 400 skimmers working, but that's not enough.

"We have a lot of skimmers that are just plain equipment. These are drum skimmers, disk skimmers and just pulling boom behind boats that can get oil. We can use our vessels of opportunity to do that, but our goal is to significantly ramp up the number of skimmers," said Admiral Thad Allen.

While pieces of the puzzle continue to be put in place oil processing at the well head is expanding.    

Admiral Thad Allen said, "We were able to produce about 18,000 barrels of oil between the Discover Enterprise and the Q 4,000. That is the other drilling unit we brought in. The Q 4,000 is flaring natural gas and oil at the same time and ultimately they have the capacity between five and ten thousand barrels a day."

Once the Discover Enterprise reaches its limit it will produce about 18,000 barrels per day. According to Admiral Allen a third processor ship will be producing off the choke line from the blow out preventer by the next week.     

Admiral Thad Allen said, "By the end of June we hope to be up to 53 thousand barrels per day production."

Allen said at that point a decision to replace the containment device that's now in place with a tighter cap will be made.

"That would mean un-bolting the flange or some other way of removing the marine riser that was sheared that's connected to the lower marine riser package and actually bolt on a new secure with flexible hoses that will actually allow us to go into more production," said Admiral Thad Allen.

Admiral Allen said they are also working to improve communication technology to increase efficiency at the deep water horizon site. There is still no timeline for when this will take place.

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