June 16th, 2010
12:47 PM ET

Day 58 – Gulf oil disaster

[Updated at 8:39 p.m. ET] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after an April 20 explosion aboard the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon:

– Rep. Bart Stupak, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Congress, said he is not optimistic about BP CEO Tony Hayward's planned testimony on Thursday: "He's just going to say, 'I'm sorry, it's not going to happen again.' It's not good enough, it's not good enough," Stupak said.

PAYMENT
- BP has spent nearly $1.5 billion, "and we will not stop until the job is done," BP CEO Tony Hayward says in prepared testimony to be delivered Thursday before a House committee.

– So far, more than 400,000 barrels of oily water mix has been recovered and the company has paid more than $90 million on the more than 56,000 claims, Hayward says.

– Close to another $16 million is expected to be paid this week to businesses alone, he says. In all, 32 walk-in claims offices are open in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

– BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said the board of the oil giant has
decided not to pay any further dividends this year.

– BP has agreed to place $20 billion in an escrow fund to help compensate those affected by the oil disaster. The fund "will not supersede individuals' or states' rights to present claims in court," President Obama said. BP, he asserted, will remain liable for the environmental disaster in the Gulf.

– BP has voluntarily agreed to create a $100 million fund for the
purpose of compensating oil rig workers now unemployed as a result of closure
of other deepwater rigs after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, Obama
said.

– The Obama administration tapped attorney Kenneth Feinberg to mediate BP's claims process. Feinberg played the same role in compensation for the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Anyone dissatisfied with his handling of their claim will be able to appeal to a three-person panel, then to the federal oil spill liability trust fund and then to court, said Carol Browner, the president's point person on energy and climate change.

– BP paid roughly $70 million to the U.S. Coast Guard for cleanup operations, wire transfer receipts showed.

CLEANUP
- "We cannot guarantee the outcome of these operations, but we are working around the clock with the best experts from government and industry," BP CEO Tony Hayward says in prepared testimony to be delivered Thursday before a House committee.

– The drilling of two relief wells has reached depths of 15,226 feet and 9,778 feet respectively, Hayward says, but they are not expected to be completed until August.

– By the end of July, officials hope to be able to contain as many as 80,000 barrels of oil per day, said U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen. By that time, he said, there will be only "minimal leakage" around the wellhead.

– Tar balls and "mousse" from the worst spill in U.S. history was washing up on Fort Walton Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, state officials reported.

– BP collected roughly 10,440 barrels of oil - or nearly 440,000 gallons - from the ruptured well Tuesday, a decrease from the day before due to a fire aboard the drilling ship Discoverer Enterprise. On Monday, 15,420 barrels of oil were collected. Collection was suspended but resumed after the fire was extinguished.

– BP said Wednesday that it has started collecting oil gushing into the Gulf through a second containment system attached to the ruptured well. The new system is connected directly to the blowout preventer and carries oil up to a second ship, the Q4000.

– Government officials on Tuesday increased the estimate of oil flowing into the Gulf from the ruptured well to between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels (1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons) per day, up to 50 percent more than previously estimated.

– The latest wildlife report said 634 oiled birds have been collected alive while 783 have been found dead, and 96 sea turtles have been collected alive while 353 have been found dead. Meanwhile, a Louisiana parish official said pelican bird nests had been trampled by cleaning crews.

Seafood from the Gulf available to consumers in stores and restaurants is safe, a Food and Drug Administration official told a Senate committee Tuesday.

INVESTIGATION
- BP's acceptance of responsibility does not necessarily mean it is legally liable for the actions that led to the spill, Hayward says in prepared testimony to be delivered Thursday before a House committee.

– Hayward adds that, though the cause of the disaster is unclear, his company's investigation suggests that the accident was caused by the apparent failure of "a number of processes, systems and equipment."

– More questions arose this week as congressional investigators released confidential BP documents, some of which contradict the testimony of the company's drilling engineer a few weeks ago about safety in well design and construction.

POLITICS
- In his first speech from the White House Oval Office, Obama vowed Tuesday night to unleash whatever resources may be needed to contain oil and clean up from the biggest environmental disaster in the nation's history. Obama predicted that, "in the coming days and weeks," efforts to stop the leak "should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well." By later in the summer, a relief well is expected to stop the leak completely. Responses to his speech were mixed.

– BP's response: "We share the president's goal of shutting off the well as quickly as possible, cleaning up the oil and mitigating the impact on the people and environment of the Gulf Coast." The company said it was looking forward to meetings with Obama "for a constructive discussion about how best to achieve these mutual goals."

– Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar named former Justice Department Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich to lead changes to the Minerals Management Service as the agency is restructured.

POLL
- Most people do not think beaches and wildlife will ever recover from
the oil disaster, according to a USA Today/Gallup survey released Wednesday. It
also suggested a gender gap on the issue, with women respondents much more
pessimistic than men.

Post by:
Filed under: Barack Obama • BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill • Louisiana
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. BreakingNewsBlog.us

    -
    -
    the (promised) $20 billion fund is a good news but could be not enough if the oil will gush in the Gulf for two more months!
    -
    Omaba should put BP in an angle, then take control of the crisis and give the FULL operations' command in US Coast Guard's hands!
    -
    unfortunately, Obama can't promise that all these problems will be solved "within a few days", since
    BP hasn't proposed NEW, BETTER AND FASTER SOLUTIONS, as clearly required by U.S. Coast Guard
    but ONLY some NEW "PROMISES" to solve the problem more quickly... just another couple of months
    -
    so, I've developed a new and BETTER "super cap" that can be built and installed in a couple of days
    -
    read a description with the drawing of my new idea in my article latest update: http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
    -
    the only other alternatives to my simple, cheap, fast to build and install proposal to fix the leak are:
    -
    1. the (unknown) new "cap" ready for mid-july after 50,000,000 more gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf
    -
    2. a drilling of the two relief wells finished in mid-august after 100,000,000 more gallons of oil spilled
    -
    -

    June 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      Zero science (CHECK)
      Zero math (CHECK)
      Zero calculations (CHECK)
      Zero facts (CHECK)
      Zero research (CHECK)
      5 year old imagination with a crayon (CHECK)
      No education (CHECK)
      Poor English (CHECK)
      Can't spell Oxygen (CHECK)
      Crappy idea that BP, US Gov, any government, any company won't take (CHECK)
      Ugly website (CHECK)

      June 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      .
      .
      .
      unfortunately, the BP's "solve oil spill issue before 2012" office isn't so efficient like the "web critics PR countermeasures" office... :(
      .
      .
      .

      June 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      Unfortunately BP has said that 90% of the oil will be contained on a daily basis by the end of June and the relief wells which will be done by August will be collecting all of it. That sounds like 2010 for me. Math fail for you.

      -2 points for having stupid periods that waste lines. Learn to type. Geta real keyboard.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • GeneF

      Mr. Obama,

      Less talk, more ... kicking.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zack Westfield

      Why can't BP just pull the pipe completely out of the ground and plug the whole. If they pulled the pipe out of the ground the enormous pressure that pushed the oil to the surface wouldn't be present. That's the whole idea about drilling the second well to relieve pressure. Or do they really want to stop the flow. This is about collecting all the oil they can and not about stopping the leak. They could stop the leak by pulling the pipe out the ground. Surely someone has thought of this but me.

      June 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      The Hobbits are just rustic English people, made small in size because it reflects the generally small reach of their imagination. J. R. R. Tolkien

      June 17, 2010 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
    • AustanII

      After putting the fire out, in the beginning...now they are trying to burn it off, again. Can anyone say "acid rain"?

      June 17, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    Ok the horse is before the cart here fix the spill first then talk law suite. Get the Corps of engineers in there to fix have government take over and fix it . What about a nuke to seal it I heard about the Soviet Union doing that. I also had seen on good morning America a Mattress maker has a material that can soak up oil and leave water and it can be reusable and BP didn't listen either did the government.

    June 16, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      exploding a nuke underwater violates nuclear treaties that the US is a part of.

      The point is the government the Coast guard, etc have already said publicly they don't know what to do. BP is the only one who has a clue, and maybe other oil companies. Nukes don't seal crap.

      The problem is anyone can come up with a naive solution. Doesn't it sound easy to cut a riser with a diamond saw? Why didn't it work? It's easier than collecting oil. Yet it took 2 days and we had to resort to giant shears in the end... Sigh. Everything seems so easy, and everyone acts like they can be an armchair quarterback or armchair CEO. It's not that easy in reality. Science at sea level makes sense. At 5000 feet below, you run into a lot of unexpected challenges.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      ..
      .
      .
      .
      unfortunately, the BP's "solve oil spill issue before 2012" office isn't so efficient like the "web critics PR countermeasures" office... :(
      .
      .
      .
      ..

      June 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      glas you learned to copy and paste.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. klf

    We'll never know the full scope of this event. Those brave poeple in the Gulf have been through so much, alot of whom are being forced from their homes to re-locate to other states for work now. I have to say if I lived there I would want to move now, not wait to see what the Toxins do to the ocean, the land and the people.

    June 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ta

    forget law suites, just clean the mess, and make sure this doesnt happen again.

    June 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Me

    So as far as my math can tell, after a little research, so far 3.5 million barrels have leaked into the Gulf at the highest estimates. Also, I found a website that said the U.S. uses 19.5 million barrels of oil each day. The disaster in the gulf is urgent, but why isn't there the same sense of urgency and uproar to reduce what release into the atmosphere each day?

    June 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      Because you're dealing with 2 different things. Today the water main breaks. Spews water all over your street and floods the street. At the same time you complain that you use too much water by showering too long. Yes. Two problems. They deserve to be solved but what relevance do they have other than the fact they both deal with water?

      June 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Me, you are a complete retard. We all care about the environment, but the gulf disaster is an emergent issue. If you have cancer but are bleeding from a gunshot wound, you aren't going to treat your cancer first.

      But in your case, it seems like you would.

      June 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Alex, you didn't really have to insult me in order to tell your opinion. I was just doing some thinking, and was wondering if anyone else had more to say about that matter. Anyway, thanks for your opinions...I do agree that the Gulf issue needs to be solved as soon as possible. I like the water analogy – it's crazy how much damage this relatively small amount of oil is doing.

      June 17, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Peter

    Relax, everything will be fine. The walrusses will be saved...........

    June 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Curt

    Obama said its hard for human technology to meet this challenge I think there calling in the aliens.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      amen brother. "TAKE US TO YOUR BLOWOUT PREVENTER. WE WILL PLUG YOUR LEAK. STUUUPIIID HUUUMANS."

      June 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dee

    CNN I believe you are giving this President a bad rap everything seems to be so negative when he speaks even last night you put up a split screen with the gulf spill and the President speaking from the oval office which could distract from the message. Everytimes he speaks this is what happens and then he is compared to JimmyCarter and to top that off as he and Governor Crist was walking on the beach you played a rhythm and blues song instead of a patriotic song for the President of the United States. I am so disappointed this is a network that I truly loved but I hear so much about viewers leaving because they say this station is beginning to sound like Fox, the Commentators views are so opinionated and don't allow the guest to express their views without you leading them.

    You should be reporting positive things that are now happening and encouraging the people of this area instead of all this negative reporting and trying to crash this president. Everyone see the Republicans,Chenney and others are very quiet and just waiting to feed off of this negativism.

    June 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve M

    Spill#2: Different company, 40 miles away, 10 mile slick, visible from space.
    http://www.americainfra.com/news/the-second-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill/

    June 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve M

    Lookind at the cam for the Viking Poseidon, it looks like the oil/gas is on fire..Where would the oxyen be coming from? Perhaps it is an illusion.

    June 17, 2010 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anth

    what is the comparison ratio to : what is flowing into the ocean and what is being siphoned out of the ocean ?

    June 17, 2010 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Steve M

    I don't know Anth..There are conflicting reports..Most of the BP and CG statements claim that BP hopes to reclaim Y amount which frequently exceeds the X amount they are claiming are leaking..Who knows..Like everything else, it will be decades (if ever) before we know the truth.

    June 18, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. danceonedge

    Can anyone explain why Cheney and Halliburton haven't jumped in with a solution to this yet? As a former CEO and the great leader that he claims to be, he should be able to solve this. Isn't that the specialty of his company, or do they only cause disasters? My guess is that he would rather sit on his buns like the rest of the GOP and do everything that he can to make Obama look bad, so they can ragain power and steal some more money.

    June 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jasont

    What I don"t understand is with all the technology in the world. Why wouldn't they have a ship that acts as a mobile oil rig that when something like this happens. Drag the old one out of the way , pull the mobile unit up. Save the oil and most importantly the enviroment on a big scale. Have other ships come to off load the oil until they move a new rig in to take over. I can't beleive this is not a option and hasn't never been thought of . They should make these company have systems like this within so many miles of certain groups of oil rigs. Just think, explosion happens and within 24 to 48 hours a mobile rig pulls up and saves billions of dollars and a considerble amount of our wildlife. Theres safety regulations and problem solving and solution for anything that goes wrong in this world,but not for oil rigs. Maybe its just me but that seems like a solution that could change the way they look at oil drilling in the gulf. Or maybe I'm just crazy

    June 26, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. **sami**

    In the congressional hearings, ALL parties are admitting they didn't and don't have a solution -

    June 30, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |