May 28th, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Day 39: Latest Gulf oil spill updates

Oil comes ashore at the Grand Isle East State Park in Louisiana.

Here are the latest developments Thursday involving the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:

[Updated at 10:49 a.m.] BP has measured "some success" with a risky procedure known as "top kill," which has never been tried before a mile under the ocean's surface, the company's top executive, Tony Hayward, said Friday.

[Posted at 10:00 a.m.]

The Cleanup

– President Barack Obama is traveling to Louisiana Friday to get a bird's-eye view of the devastation and the cleanup efforts.

– Engineers tried the "junk shot" method to try to stop a massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, finishing their attempt early Friday, BP's Chief Executive Tony Hayward said. The company plans to resume its "top kill" method, pumping heavy mud into the leak, later Friday, he said.

– Hayward said it will be 48 hours before any conclusions can be drawn about the operation's success. "I know that is frustrating for everyone," he said. "I want to get this over with as soon as we possibly can. We are doing everything we can to achieve that."

– Hayward, who had previously said the environmental impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would be modest, upgraded his assessment Friday to an "environmental catastrophe."

– Even if BP were to successfully plug the well this weekend, the Gulf oil spill is still the largest in U.S. history. Government scientists said Thursday that as many as 19,000 barrels (798,000 gallons) of oil were spewing into the ocean every day, making this disaster perhaps twice the size of the Exxon Valdez incident.

Health problems

– Seven oil spill recovery workers who were hospitalized in New Orleans after complaining of feeling ill were properly trained and had protective gear on, according to the federal on-scene coordinator for the oil spill response effort in the Gulf of Mexico.

– Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said workers were treated for several symptoms, including headaches, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. Safety officials from the Coast Guard, BP and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration have responded.

– BP says it has provided spill recovery workers with protective equipment, such as suits, steel-toed boots, gloves, hard hats and safety glasses. In addition, BP said, workers are conducting about 250 air-quality tests a day. They also are testing workers for exposure to irritants and other substances that could be harmful, BP said.

Economy

– Images from the massive BP oil spill have prompted many tourists to bolt to other destinations this Memorial Day weekend.

– Hotels in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi are using everything from "beach cams" and money-back guarantees to constant updates on their Web sites to get the word out that their beaches are clean and open for business.

– In Louisiana, hotels catering to sport fishermen are seeing a falloff in bookings, but that's been offset by the masses of recovery workers, BP employees and journalists who have poured into the area.

– Oil prices rose for the third day in a row Friday, as traders anticipate a 6-month moratorium on new offshore drilling permits and other responses to the Gulf oil spill could mean supply decreases in the long-term.

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
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  1. jose garcia

    BP has destoryed everything and they need to be hold reliable and the main person needs to pay the price and so much more for letting this happen knowing that the oil was going to happen. And they cant even shut it off. WoW.

    May 30, 2010 at 3:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. peter Curry

    There is a simple solution to the oil spill containment. Place a heavy steel ring on the sea floor around the spill area. Attach to the steel ring a fabric tube 300 feet in diameter and 5000 feet long (Long enough to reach the surface)
    Keep the top end at the surface with flotation devices and pump the oil out of the 300 foot circle. This tube could be assembled and deployed within days. This method would not disturb the well head and could easily be removed if
    it didn't work. Comments to pcurry@cwest.com

    May 30, 2010 at 5:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Zolicon

    They would have had this Leak undercontrool and Stopped with in a Week of it's Occurence if they had of Listened to Me.I told to on Dat Three what t do,But they went with their Mental ideas.
    I told them on Dat Three to a Dome over the Leak.With a Free Flowing Pipe to the Surface,ANd Colect the OIl in Barges to be Hauled away.Well 45 Days later the are Finanially going to Do do it.Kinda.They are using a Smaller Cap and Pipe.Which will not work.They need that 100,000 Pound Box.Then it will work.
    Zolicon

    May 30, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. earl barwick

    After hearing the story of the survivour of the blast on the oil rig that was broadcast on tv. There may be enough evidence to warrant a criminal investigation Now after the failure of the top kill at the well head the people of the gulf coast cities are worried about their jobs and loseing their homes because of lost tourist dollars . And resedents moving out of florida. the housing market in florida has been one of the hardest hit by the housing crash and this oil disaster may be the final straw on the gulf coasts back .

    May 30, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mike

    if they plugged it today, In 50 years, the 100th hurricane will pass over the gulf and it still won't clean that mess up

    May 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. guy winters

    Guy Winters here, I have an awsome idea to fix the Gulf leak problem! get 8 tug boats to lower steel cables with heavy weights on the ends down 1 mile to the bottom in a circle surrounding the leaking area ,use cameras and lights to position them, then peice together heavy duty plastic or marine grade material to form a round curtian around the outside of the steel cables and weight the bottom edge so it sinks all the way to the bottom tight against the sand,the tunnel curtian is full of sea water so water pressure is not a problem and no one had to go down there just cameras and lights and the oil surfaces to the top thru the sea water in the curtian and when it comes up pump it into tankers..the tugs will half to be tied together and left there.the cable with weights would serve as there anchors.Make the top of the curtian 20 feet higher than the sea level so no oil can get out into the gulf.in the future all and I mean ALL oil rig drills would be required to have such a curtian already in place before they send down the bit.that way if this happens again it would already be contained. Containment is the only answer to this problem, theres no pluging it up,it would only find or make another crack to come up thru,and besides we want the oil down there for our country.if they dont try my idea then the Bible prophecy about a third of all the fish will die will come true.Heck..put me in charge of this Mr President and I will have it done in 4 days but I need Carta Blanch and no feet dragging. I emailed this idea to the White House to president Obama ,I hope he reads his emails,this could save the planet. somebody had to be the first to think of this ,...might as well be me! Guy Winters rockville indiana guywintersjr@yahoo.com

    June 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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