June 3rd, 2010
02:22 PM ET

Day 45: Gulf oil disaster updates

[Updated at 10:16 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began when the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20:

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

– BP on Thursday night was positioning a cap over the top of the blowout preventer, which may dramatically slow the oil leak. Earlier Thursday, BP said it had reached an important milestone in its effort to cap the spill by cutting away the damaged riser pipe atop its ruptured undersea well.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has asked BP for an additional $50 million to cover the costs of preparing to protect the state's coastline from the oil spill. BP granted $25 million to Florida last month. In a letter to the president of BP America, Crist writes that Florida already has spent $50 million in protective measures and other preparedness costs.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

CLEANUP

– The Obama administration has sent a $69 million bill to BP for the U.S. government's efforts to help deal with the energy company's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, giving the company until July 1 to pay the bill in full. The bill was also sent to Transocean, Anadarko, Moex Offshore and QBE Underwriting.

– BP has spent more than $40 million so far to pay 15,000 of the nearly 32,000 loss-of-income claims filed by area business owners and their workers.

– U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is managing the government's response, called Thursday's cut of the damaged riser pipe a "significant step forward." But even if the well is capped, it remains unclear how much oil will continue leaking through August when a relief well will be in place. BP was unable to make a more precise cut of the pipe that would have assured a tighter seal.

– The beleaguered company began airing national television ads Thursday apologizing for the spill. Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward appears in the ad, saying he is "deeply sorry" and that BP "will make this right."

– In Louisiana, where oily sludge has been fouling coastal marshes for two weeks, state officials said the White House has given its blessing to a plan to dredge up walls of sand offshore.

– The U.S. government has closed fishing in 37 percent of the Gulf because of the massive spill.

POLITICS

– President Obama told CNN's Larry King on Thursday that he is "furious" about the spill but said his job is to fix things instead of just yelling at people.

– President Obama will return to the Louisiana Gulf Coast on Friday "to assess the latest efforts to counter the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill," according to a White House statement.

– A grass-roots campaign dubbed Seize BP planned demonstrations in more than 50 cities starting Thursday.

– BP has hired a Washington-based, bipartisan political consulting firm to produce its new aggressive national advertising push, including a national TV spot released Thursday. Purple Strategies includes veteran political consultants Steve McMahon, a Democrat, and Alex Castellanos, a Republican.

ECONOMY

– Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wrote a letter to Obama on Wednesday expressing his concern about the government's moratorium on offshore drilling. The new measure could cause thousands of people to lose their jobs, Jindal said.

– With the help of $25 million from BP, Florida has been running ads trying to emphasize that its beaches and resorts have stayed open and oil-free. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said some of those ads will be re-edited if necessary.

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. PV

    CD,

    The wealthy financed Hitler and Stalin for God sakes. You mean you don't know that IBM made the machines that tracked the Jews? You didn't know that Prescott Bush helped finance the Nazis? You don't know that the Gulf of Tonkin (now declassified) was carried out by the US. I suppose according to you world government isn't being set-up either, even though it's in the news every day. You don't know about the MIAC report? What about the put options of United and American Airlines right before 9/11? When I say wealthy I'm not talking about some middle class guy with a billion or less. I'm talking about the true elite. British Royal family, Rothchilds, Rockefellers, et al. Based on their track record YES, ABSOLUTELY, I think they are capable of this and way worse!

    June 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ldt

    Well, lets hope the cap idea works. And I agree, there is no way we can allow a gusher all the way through August.
    Has anyone heard if there is any kind of collection of money for the victims (fishermen, waitresses, restraunts, etc) of this gusher or are they all working now for BP ? And as far as the air quality, it doesn't sound like a good thing. If there are many people who need to move to protect their health is there some type of option for them ? These are our brothers and sisters in need. We are all concerned about you all down there.

    June 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ZeBel

    Well, I watched the live streamed video on BP's web site last few days and saw the oil flowing like Hell. The robots are definitely confused themselves swimming around and doing nothing properly. They just pull cables and perform other unimportant stuff. I am confused!! Where are the experts BP is talking about? Way BP does not minimize the flow at least temporarily and do the other stuff simultaneously. There are tens of methods that are implementable in just a couple of days which definitely will decrease the flow by 70-80%, until a permanent solution is deployed. Way waiting so long? Of course, it might be on purpose or total incompetence!

    June 3, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. So OVER THE WHINING

    I'm so sick of people saying why doesn't the government doing something. I don't know, maybe they are leaving this to the people who would know how to tackle the problem. It's kind of like asking the Dean of English to solve a complicated Math equation. Uh duhhhhh. First, how about we think back to Katrina...I don't remember almost everyone blaming George. Also, a gag order for BP employees is just common sense. You're telling me the mailroom personnel can explain to you how the robots work? Anderson, normally I love to watch you but I'm thinking that those people down there working to trying and fix this thing may not have time to stop and talk to you. Despite how we all would like to think of ourselves, you are not the center of the universe. The question is do you want them to continue working on this thing or stop every 5 minutes to give you an update. Back off. It might be me, but do you start cleaning your home when the flood is still roaring or maybe wait until it stops raining. I totally agree with the President not to send troops in to help until the freaking oil stops flowing. My 15 year old knows that. All of this over oil and animals (which I understand) but where the heck were all of you when people were dying during Katrina?

    June 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave in Seattle

    Whose bright idea was it to ship rescued and 'cleaned' birds east to Tampa Bay???? The oil is moving east dummies, take the birds west to the far side of Texas or at the very least to the Atlantic.
    This in infuriating,
    sleepless (really) in Seattle

    June 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. michael nyc

    Replace old flange and attached broken (now snipped) pipe at top of BOP – has (6) hex nuts – with new flange and associated pipe to surface !

    This could have been done after the smoke cleared (day 2) and this disaster avoided ...

    p.s. It is unfathomable how this was not done.

    June 4, 2010 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. ZeBel

    There are several options and solutions that could and still can be taken into consideration which directly minimize the oil spill. I do not really know what kind of experts are working at BP. They maybe experts to make a disaster, who knows!

    I really will see the board of directors should be considered responsible for all this and paying personally for their delays and decisions. I may be wrong but in the end, I think they will receive a big bonus instead!

    June 4, 2010 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    What happened to the Kevin Costner story? Is anything happening with that idea. Why do we hear reports but no follow-up, good or bad.

    June 5, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May, 2010

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Here’s a contingency plan that has patented technology and a process that really works.

    1. We found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that would have extracted up to 95% of the oil spill contaminants from seeded surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico, before it hit land fall.
    2. Our product is a, “Modified Oil Spill Environmental Sponge” dubbed M.O.S.E.S., it is a ¼” to ½” product that can be used to absorb oil contaminants from both “fresh water and salt water” surface oil spills. Our tests have concluded that one ton of product will absorb 125 gallons of oil in less than one hour. Simply put it will absorb approximately one half of its weight in oil. M.O.S.E.S. collects/absorbs oil not water. After saturation M.O.S.E.S. will only contain about 1.4% water. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to other kinds of wildlife including humans. A fifteen minute test will prove this process works.
    3. Our plan is full circle and includes staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    4. Due to the urgencies to reduce the impact on the environment and the magnitude of this spill, our plan required partnering with the Coast Guard and other organizations that were already being used to provide staging, seeding and reclaim operations.
    5. Seeding operations were to be handled in essentially the same way they were being done, with minor and/or no modifications to airborne or aquatic equipment that would handle spreading ¼” to ½” particulates.
    6. Re-claim operations required the same booms, scoops, pumps and barge operations, that were being used.
    7. Re-processing operations proposed a permanent emissions free plant for processing oil, sand and other like materials into re-usable fuels and commodities. The plant would take approximately ninety to one hundred and fifty days to construct and would become a permanent part of a states fast action response to future oil spills.
    8. Our plan would have first, assisted with the on-going damage control operations in the gulf; second, it could have been put into operation within seven days; third, it would have become a $30,000,000.00 per year financial benefit to the communities that embraced staging and plant processing operations.
    9. This plan will greatly reduced the time and costs associated with this kind of oil spill in the future. We are confident that this type of pro-active plan would become a template for other high risk (oceanic) areas.
    So, why was this plan given no consideration at all? It is not a question of if another spill will happen, but when! The only excuses we have been able to come up with that, we are sure you are going to here are, as follows:
    a. BP, News Networks and Government Agencies didn’t have the time to consider a pro-active long term plan?
    b. We were crack pots when, this technology is patented and the product could be tested in fifteen minutes?
    c. BP has it under control as, they have done this before? Yes and, crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results! We need to get past these smoke screens and prepare for future spills.
    Thank you for your time and consideration. We’d love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is listening.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail: GE1RE22@aol.com
    CC: BP., CNN, FOX NEWS, NOAA, Governors of: AL., FL., LA., MS., And TX.

    June 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig N. Barthelmas

      ATTENTION!! The PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN listed above will not plug oil leaks but, it will address five major problems; two of witch, are concerns that have not been addressed in the media or in the government.
      1. It truly is a LONG TERM-CONTINGENCY PLAN. It will help the community rebuild revenues while providing a fast action operational plan for future oil spills. Yes! Future oil spills will surely occur, despite future prevention efforts!
      2. This plan is full circle and would included staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s, oil filled sands and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
      3. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to humans and/or other forms of wildlife. Oil, feed stock and sand processing are near emissions free processes.
      4. It will generate $30,000,000.00 worth of new revenues for the communities that embrace staging and plant processing operations. The plant would remain in full operation after the clean-up is done.
      5. It will also add about forty new jobs to the community. This is not only a plan to help with short term clean up’s, it will also have a positive long term and lasting effect on the community as well.
      We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to mobilize volunteers to help minimize their cost. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies this plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on spills they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. The OMRS-100 technology is patented and, M.O.S.E.S. (The oil absorbent) can be tested in less than fifteen minutes!
      As always our government is seeking a short term quickie (political talk) so we can get a long term scr**ing! Has anyone mentioned where they (BP) plan to put and/or dispose of all of that contaminated; oil, sand and material? We are pretty sure that without intervention it will be in somebody’s back yard, neatly hidden from sight, killing something else. Don’t you think that any oil spill plan should at least consider: Prevention, Mobilization, Extraction and Disposal Operations?
      Thank you for your time. We would love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is as concerned as we are.
      Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail: GE1RE22@aol.com

      June 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. scott jones

    "A" solution to gulf problem I detailed at thinksimply.com. it replied my email adress was not correct.it is most definatly hacked.and my facebook.cannot acces.oh well.I will start over.#1 OIL in its natural enviroment is sand.find gradient of sand & pour over spill.stopping flow from entering northern thermosaline convection current.very important.#2 pour sand around ALL! Of spill it will mix with sand and like tarballs allready seen on beach.#3 figure psi on output of well.and. have a computer literate mathematician convert to "workable"constraints.weld plates to form a bell.with an open top.math must include.flow rate reduction to workable.output levels.psi.at open end.weight of bell of steel.not iron as I said on another site that lost it.thinksimple.com. iron won't weld.it needs forging.steel will.my bad.the weight&width must correalate to withstand .output.so as not 2 rock back&forth.weld pipesas it drops over well.when there a gusher will appear.weld a 22 1/2 degree bend to anotherx2 making a 90 degree bend.4 soft bends.if u will.then add pipe lengths 2 a containment area.possibly a couple of old wells. Pouring sand after this on centre of spill.in hindsight is prudent.pour as much matrix as needed till oil spill is "locked" to sand matrix.as far as cracks go.pour sand over effected areas & the combined weight eventually.not 2 long .should subside output prressure.when pressure is lowered enough.pour hydrolic cement over area.every 6 inches put.BOND BEAM!!..not "steel" wire mesh which CAN AND WILL RUST!.any block supplier or mason knows this material.a manufacturer will need to make.sheets of it.roll over cement.calcite will expedite "curing" time of concrete in cold temperatures.any concrete manufacturer knows this.fibrated hydrolic cement is a lot stronger than non fibrated.no cost spared very important 2 stop flow into northern convection.NO RED TAPE!!...DO IT!! It'll work.and a lot of prayer is neccessary!!!...............and Please do not drill that deep ever again.in fact "cap" any wells like that....commen sense dictates.& I quote carl sagan..."It is not wether we can do it...but does Anybody ask themselves.should we?".....peace...mr President elect Barack Obama.your friend.scott.......& again.Godspeed sir..................................

    January 1, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
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