May 6th, 2010
06:26 PM ET

Latest Updates: Gulf oil spill

A boat passes through an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

[Updated at 6:23 p.m.] Companies involved in the sinking of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon made "some very major mistakes," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday after meeting with executives from the oil company BP.

Salazar would not elaborate, telling reporters the cause remains under investigation. But, he said, "from my own preliminary observations, there were some very major mistakes that were made by the companies that were involved."

The Coast Guard and the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service are leading the investigation into the loss of the drill rig, which was owned by BP contractor Transocean Ltd. The rig sank two days after an explosion set it afire, unleashing an undersea gusher of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and leaving 11 workers presumed dead.

[Updated at 12:27 p.m.] Two Coast Guard teams were scrambled to reset protective booms around Louisiana's Freemason Island after it was reported oil had reached there from the Gulf of Mexico. The area is located the Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana's St. Bernard Parish. The amount of oil that reached shore was not immediately known.

Trace amounts of sheen from the undersea gusher have been reported to have reached the shores of southeastern Louisiana over the past week, but the landfall reported Thursday marks the first confirmation of oil hitting the shore, said John Curry, a spokesman for well owner BP.

[Updated at 12:11 p.m.] A patch of oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been found on Louisiana's Freemason Island Thursday, the Coast Guard reported.

[Updated at 10:49 a.m.] BP will attempt to lower the container onto a ruptured deep-water pipe later in the day, spokesman Mark Salt said.

"If all goes according to plan, we should begin the process of processing the fluid and stop the spilling to the sea on Monday," said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer.

But he added: "It's very complex, and it will likely have challenges along the way."

The hope is that the container will collect the leaking oil, which would be sucked up to a drill ship on the surface. If the operation is successful, BP plans to deploy a second, smaller dome to deal with a second leak in the ruptured pipe, the company has said.

Getting the large structure into position could take several days, BP has noted.  The technique has never been attempted at the depth of about 5,000 feet underwater, according to Suttles.

[Updated at 9:30 a.m.] A four-story container has arrived at a spot in the Gulf Coast that is about 5,000 feet above a massive oil spill on the seabed, a spokesman for BP, Mark Salt, said Thursday.

BP plans to lower the container into the water later Thursday, he said.

[Updated at 7:49 a.m.] The Gulf oil spill is going to cost billions to clean up, a tab BP has publicly pledged to pay in full.

But thanks to the unpredictable nature of the oil slick and the legal maze surrounding maritime law, what BP will pay and to whom is very much an open question.  Start with the costs. Estimates to clean the spill and compensate other parties for the economic damage run from $2 billion to $14 billion. One politician even said it could run into the hundreds of billions.The truth is that no one has any idea yet.

The spill, which the Coast Guard says is still leaking oil at a rate of roughly 200,000 gallons a day, could stay near the coast of Louisiana, as it's doing now. It hasn't had much of an impact on the shoreline so far, and the dispersants being sprayed on it appear to be helping to keep it at sea.  If the containment device BP is preparing to put over the leak in the next few days works, or if the company can activate the broken valve that would shut off the well, the costs would be comparatively minimal. Say, a billion or two.

If the leak worsens, as company officials say it could, and the oil gets caught up in Gulf currents that bring it around Florida's beaches and up the East Coast, then things get very grim. Fishing grounds and beaches would be polluted. That spikes the cleanup cost and cuts into the revenue of thousands of other businesses.

"It's really bad when people start throwing around numbers," said Fadel Gheit, a senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer. "It almost paralyzes the people working on this into inaction." Read full CNNMoney.com story on the cost

Read Wednesday's Gulf oil updates

soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Bhagirath Naranjit

    Blessing to the world, presently what is happening is not good for the environment, I am a member / support the World Wildlife Society, at present this is very bad for all, we are human’s and we need to give support and pray for this to end, we must have faith, each and everyone out there is trying their best.
    Bhagirath Naranjit
    Trinidad Hydraulics Limited.
    b_naranjit@hotmail.com

    June 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tc Tervo

    We need to clean up the slick, so here is my idea. We can use the concepts of net fishing and the oil booms they use. Modify the oil booms to have plastic (yes, use the oil based plastic to clean up the oil – kind of appropriate) and put a long sheet on the bottom of the floats. The floats keep it above water. the sheet of plastic is weighted at the end, with pockets in them and the pockets have many micro filters. Put the booms between two boats with a rope between the boats a the end. Then one boat goes out and leads the booms around a slick – several miles and then comes back in a circle to the original boat. This will surround the oil and put the oil in a pool. then tighten the circle – trapping the fish in fishing, but trapping the oil and shrinking the leader, consolidating the oil. Then use Kevin Costner's separating machine to suck the contaminated oil and water with a three stage filter on the end to only suck the oil and no fish or wildlife, and then his machine will spin the fluid, separating the oil from the water, catching the oil and keeping it in a tank on board for recovery, and then take the clean water and shoot it over the other side of the boat. The lines have to be long, so use a big carrier or military ship to do the leading out of the line and the pumping to clean up. Start at the shores and move outward.

    To cap the leak, insert a smaller tube in the existing hold with a valve on it and leave it open. The oil will go through the existing hole and the new pipe. Insert the new pipe far enough in and hold it in place, then pump quick dry water cement into the existing hole, around the new pipe. Eventually, the pressure will make the oil go through the smaller pipe at increased pressure. Then after the cement is dry, shut the other valve.

    Another possible way to cap the well is by using a valve connection called a "shark bite" no pun intended, again, putting it on with the valve fully opened, around the existing hole – they would probably have to fabricate one big enough for this unique purpose. Once in place, turn off the valve and the oil should stop flowing.

    Can you forward this to someone to consider please. Tc 813-927-3804

    June 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. mike clark

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THERE IS A GREAT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DICIPLINE AND ABUSE!

    July 27, 2010 at 6:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Don GG

    BP/HORIZON MYSTERY PLUMBER BRINGS IN NEW FULLY PROPOSALS CONTAINMENT PLANS AND NEW IDEAS TO HELP AND FIX BUSTED OIL WELL, ON THE SEA FLOOR, AND THE MYSTERY PLUMBER INNOVATIONS PLANS ALL DID WORK ON TIME TO CONTAIN/STOP THE MASS OIL FLOW IN THE GULF OF MEXICO ON TIME, ALL GOALS AND INNOVATIONS MADE IT IN TO FIX THE SPILLING AND MADE A GREAT DEAL OF CHANDES OVER IN THE GULF, AND MANY OF MY NEW INNOVATIONS AND IDEAS CAME JUST IN TIME, BEFORE MANY OTHERS IDEAS CAME IN , BP / HORIZON AND GOV/PVT TESTING LABS AND US. COAST GUARDS, AND PROFESSOR ROBERT BEA, ALL DID KEPT ALL MY PROPOSALS PLANS AND NEW GOALS TO FIX AND BRING IN MORE NEW WAYS TO CONTAIN/STOP OIL SPILLING IN OUR WATERS WITH NEW INNOVATIONS, MY IDEAS REALLY MADE NEW GREAT CHANGES IN THE OIL BUSINESS, BP / HORIZON, AND MANY OTHERS, AND PVT PROFESSIONALS ALL HAVE SOME KIND OF STORY TO TALK ABOUT A MYSTERY MAN THAT SENT OVER TO BP / HORIZON AND ALL MY NEW CONCEPTS WAS ON TIME. FIVE PROPOSALS WITH MORE INNOVATIONS ON IT AND ALL NEW CHANGES, TO HELP FIX THE OILSPILL AND GET ALL BUSINESS BACK ON TRACK. STILL KNOW CREDIT YET FROM ANYONE AND THEY STILL ACT LIKE THEY DON'T WANT ALL TO KNOW YET, YOURS TRULY MYSTERYMAN THAT THEY CALL MP. REAL DEAL DGG

    November 5, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Don GG

    ALL MY INNOVATIONS GOT GREAT POLICY BUT THEY ALL MUST HAVE ALL FOR GOT, ABOUT THE MYSTERY PLUMBERMAN, I SENT TO THEM AND THEY SENT OVER THE FIRST NEW CONTAINMENT INNOVATIONS AND MORE OF MY NEW BACK UP PLANS RIGHT BEFORE THE PUBLIC CAN BLINK THERE EYES , BP/HORIZON KEPT ALL MY INNOVATIONS AND ALL MY NEW NAMES FOR EACH IDEAL CONCEPTS THAT WAS SENT OVER, AND IS IN THEIR DATA BASE, AND ON FILE UP TO THIS DAY 2010 TO 2012 THEY HAVE ALL PROOF ON EVERY IDEA / CONCEPT, MANY PROFESSONALS WILL COME TO TALK ABOUT WHO ALL DID HELP/ IN SUCH A HARD TIME FOR BP AND MANY AROUND THE WORLD, BUT MY SKILLS MADE IT BUT I WAS LEFT FOR LOST AND NOT KNOWN BUT MANY AND I DO NOT LIKE THAT, BUT ALMIGHTYGOD IS ON MY SIDE AND MANY OTHERS WILL TELL THE REAL TRUTHS, ONEDAY I NEEDED HELP JUST LIKE THEY GOT MY HELP BUT MY IDEAS MADE IT BUT I WAS UNDER A MYSTERY WHY IS THAT SOMEONE KNOWS THE TRUE STORY, ON THE REAL MYSTERY PLUMBER THAT SAVE DAY WHEN OUR WATERS WAS GETTING TO MUCH OIL IN OU COAST SEAS. AND ALMIGHTYGOD BLESSING CAME AND SAVE OUR WATERS HIS BLESSING, GOD WILL USED MAN TO FIX HIS WORLD AND I'M APART OF HIS GREAT BLESSING TO MAN KIND, UP TO THIS DAY AND TIME, DGG, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU'LL THAT PICK MY NEW IDEAS AND INNOVATIONS AND USED ALL MY GOALS, AND THANKS TOO MANY THAT VOTED ON MY NEW FULLY CONTAINMEN PROPOSALS GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU'LL THAT HELP AND WORK VERY HARD TO GET OUR WATERS BACK , MUCH WORK IS NEEDED TO KEEP THINGS CLEAN AND SAFE, WE MUST HELP ALL THAT NEED OUR INNOVATIONS AND OUR BUSINESS , IN GOD WE TRUST, WE MUST YOURS TRULY MYSTERY PLUMBER. BP HAS A LARGE LIST ON MY NEW CONTAINMENT CONCEPTS THAT HELP FIX WELL OVER IN THE GULF OF MEXICO, AND OTHER REMOTE STATES, AROUND THE GULF. AND MOST THANKS TO ALMIGHTYGOD FOR BEING IN OUR BLESSING AND JESUS AND THE HOLYSPIRIT, HELPING US GET BACK OUR WATERS, WE CAN'T LET OUR WATERS GO AND SEA AND LAND FOOD GO AWAY FROM ALL OF US HERE ON EARTH. WE THE CHILDERN OF THE MOST HIGH MUST KEEP OUR EARTH AND OUR PEOPLE AND BREEDING CREATURES, THIS BELONGS TO ALL OF US, WITH LOVE ON HIGH AND THANKS TO THE ANGELS THAT KEEP OUR WORLD IN ORDER. MY GOD BLESS ALL OF US WE ARE ALL HIS CHILDERN AND ALL LIVING THINGS CREEP UPONE THE DAY AND NIGHT.

    November 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.