April 28th, 2010
06:33 PM ET

Oil spill burn has started in Gulf of Mexico

[Updated at 6:32 p.m.] A planned attempt to burn off part of the massive spill from last week's oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has started, the U.S. Coast Guard says.

[Posted at 6 p.m.] A planned attempt to burn off part of the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was delayed by weather, but should happen "at any point" Wednesday afternoon, a BP executive said.

The site for the controlled burn had to be relocated, but "we fully expect we'll have a burn today and hopefully be able to report the result tomorrow," Doug Suttles, the oil company's chief operating officer, told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

The burn-off is part of the effort to prevent the spread of oil from an underwater well that was uncapped when the drill rig Deepwater Horizon blew up and sank last week. The slick stretched about 100 miles across the north-central Gulf on Wednesday afternoon and had advanced to within 16 miles of the mouth of the Mississippi River, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

Eleven workers are still missing after the explosion; another 115 people were rescued.

Read the full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Louisiana • U.S.
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. amos33

    Contigency plans should have been completed before drilling began.Robots are risky and inaccurate at this depth. The burn off may help but it will still leave a thick residue or worse, form gobules that are semi-submerible. IN any case we wish the Coast Guard all the best and our prayers for the familes of those off shore rig workers.

    This should not deter further exploration in the Gulf and Atlantic coastal waters.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jasmin

    I am just so glad we have all sorts of filters on refinery smoke stacks. And I am so glad we have that little seal around the gassing hose that prevents a drop of oil from escaping into the atmosphere and harm the environment. Everything is so well thought out to prevent the tiny little escapes of a drop of Oil and Gas from escaping into the atmosphere. Billions of dollars and tons of engineering skills are spent to prevent only the minute inconsequential drops of oil from harming our otherwise pristine environments!!??!!?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. george

    amazing how now 2010 we can BURN -OFF.....in the late 20th century it had to be mopped up...cleanup,,,,,,even the beaches and the birds and much more

    April 28, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lloyd Cata

    Well, let's see....another oil-inspired natural disaster in the making. News says British Petroleum is spending $6 million/day on trying to avert a disaster. Those gulf fisherman already know their lives and livelihoods are damaged and for some it will prove to be their final days of their calling in life. Not just a job, not just a career, but an indelible part of their character as people.
    Those of us who remember the Exxon Valdez will never forget the 'outrage' of a vehicle with that much oil being driven by a less than optimum captain. Exxon was ordered to pay about $20 billion. After 20 years, they have yet to pay a cent in restitution. Court after court has adjusted the crime, adjusted the penalty, and with the help of a willing media, have escaped with massive profits. BP will have no problem following Exxon's example, so don't expect to be compensation for your loss. Do not believe that the 'class action lawsuit' to follow will amount to anything. God never promised you no fish, and BP never promised you no fish. Those are the words that will seal the deal, and until you can prove different...Too Damn Bad

    April 28, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jeannette

    "No offshore drilling"

    April 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cynthia

    The recent Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is spilling massive amounts of crude oil into the sea and is threatening the environment and those people who depend on the wetlands for their livelihood, such as fishermen and lobstermen. There is also the issue of a possible loss of revenue for the hospitality industry and other industries in which people are affected and wages could be lost, all of which lead to potential damage claims. Sadly, other oil rig workers are leaving the site and losing wages, but they have valid fears that the spill will catch fire. The tragedy is also raising very serious environmental concerns, and could threaten the fragile ecosystem of the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, which serve as nurseries for fish and shrimp and habitat for birds. The disaster is in violation of a number of environmental acts, including the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act and is among the worst offshore drilling disasters in recent U.S. history, and could be the deadliest. More information on this tragedy and its devastating effects on our environment can be found at http://www.oil-rig-explosions.com/

    April 29, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeb

    Florida's Convention & Visitor Bureau (a state TOURISM organization) ENDORSED oil drilling off SOUTH Florida’s shores, as did the GOVERNOR and the head of Florida's house of reps. Now, why did they do that? Check "Follow the Money" website to see "contibutions" by oil industry to the aforementioned boneheads. I wonder if they will change their stance now that the oil drilling platform explosion in the waters off northwest Florida’s coast has resulted in an oil slick that is already the size of a small state and growing at the rate of 850,000 gallons daily, with speculation that they will not be able to cap the leak for months. Now some gourd-headed nitwit came up with the bright idea of setting the oil slick on fire - that sounds like such a wonderful “pollution solution” - heat up the atmosphere, foul the air, with crude-oil-barbecued ocean life washing up on the beach (“Hey Honey, load up the cooler with beer, we’re eatin crispy critters off of duh beach again tonight”.). http://www.avoidflorida.com/

    April 29, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. wdotter

    After all the oil spills on sea the oil rig companies and their principals (the oil companies) should have initiated – and now definitively have to start – developing a technology to deploy chemicals / or organisms that can be sprayed over the spill from the air like a massive foam fire- extinguisher.
    It is unbelievable that with all profits made by these companies the public once again is paying the price and that massive amounts of R&D money is spent on finding the oil but hardly any on containing the continuous threat of problems the oil spil can cause.
    I think that the money spent now to contain the problem could have been saved with proper preparations. So even from an economically perspective this would have been a fully justified investment.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bernie lemieux

    The gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion could turn out to be the worst ecological disaster in american history. Thousand of billion of dollars could be lost. Immediate action has to be taken to minimize the dammage. Oil cannot continue to pour in for months without severe consequences. This is not the time for recriminations, accusations and assignment of blame. There will be plenty of time for that later. What can be done about this? One thing should be tried; crimping the pipe. Use a modified "jaws of life" device in car accidents. Remove the cutting blades and replace them with squash plates that will accomodate the diameter of the pipe. Use a one way valve, the plates would be retracted by springs. Hang the device from a ship or a buoy above and connect a high pressure air line from the ship. Apply air pressure from the ship. Position a robot submersible near the pipe to hold the crimping device in place. Hammer the pipe until it is crimped. A 50 or 75 % crimp would be better than nothing. Do not allow any more oil to escape. Place a very large boom around the well head and burn the oil there. Mobilize thousands of people all along the coast all the way to Florida to mop up oil using giant absorbing pads available from the oil undustry. Please hurry. May God help you!

    May 1, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. amber allen

    What happen for the oil to spill and y did it spill.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. roses

    bp and gavrament can not anything to help.why mr.dzejms cameron do something give him chane.

    June 20, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |