May 8th, 2010
10:31 PM ET

Latest Updates: Gulf oil spill

[Updated 10:29 p.m.] The effort to place a massive containment dome over a gushing underwater wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico was dealt a setback when a large volume of hydrates - ice-like crystals formed when gas combines with water - accumulated inside the vessel, a BP official said
Saturday. 

The dome was moved off to the side of the wellhead and is resting on the
seabed while crews work to overcome the challenge, a process expected to take at least two days, BP's chief operation officer Doug Suttles said.

Read the full story on CNN.com

[Updated 10:02 p.m.] A llama in north Texas is doing her part to help relief efforts by giving up the hair off her back, CNN affiliate WDSU reports.

Candycane's owner, Steve Berry, is donating her hair so it can be made into absorbent pads, or booms, to soak up oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Llamas don't have any oil in their hair," Berry, a retired Arlington firefighter and Hood County commissioner, told WDSU. "So not being oily it's a perfect absorbent."

Berry, a member of the South Central Llama Association, put out a call to other llama owners in the region, offering to give haircuts if need be, according to WDSU.

Each llama yields about four to five lbs. of wool, said Berry, who will ship it all the New Orleans, Louisiana.

Watch the full story on WDSU

[Updated 9:24 p.m.] Tar balls ranging in size from dimes to golf balls were found Saturday on the beach on Dauphin Island, Alabama, the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center said.

Analysis of the tar balls to determine the origin of the oil may take up to 48 hours, the center said in a press release. Tar balls are occasionally found on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, residents told CNN. The tar balls were collected in a pom-pom shaped material known as snare boom that were placed around Dauphin Island.

Reports of tarballs can be made to the U.S. Coast Guard at any time at 1-800-448-5816.

[Updated 7:09 p.m.] By the numbers, to date, according to the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center:

– 10,000: Number of deployed personnel currently responding to protect shoreline and wildlife.

– 270: Vessels responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels, to assist in containment and cleanup efforts, in addition to the dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.

– 923,000: Approximate amount of boom in feet that have been deployed to contain the spill.

– 2.1 million: Gallons of an oil-water mix that have been recovered.

– 290,000: Gallons of dispersant have been deployed.

– 10: Staging areas set up to protect shoreline in Gulf Coast states that could be affected. The staging areas are in Biloxi, Mississippi; Panama City, Florida; Pensacola, Florida; Pascagoula, Mississippi; Dauphin Island, Alabama; Port Sulphur, Louisiana; Shell Beach, Louisiana; Slidell, Louisiana; Port Fourchon, Louisiana and Venice, Louisiana.

[Updated 5:38 p.m.] It was payday Saturday for some fishermen in Louisiana, but the check wasn't for what they pulled out of the water - it was for what they put into the water.

Parish officials handed out paychecks Saturday morning to fishermen who worked from May 1st to­ 4th laying boom in the contaminated waters where they usually go fishing and shrimping. They were the first locals hired by BP, the company that owns the well at the heart of the oil spill, to help clean up the Gulf. With so many in the fishing industry affected by the oil spill, St. Bernard's Parish has set up a rotation system for those looking for work. The lucky ones will find their name on the work schedule again before the end of the month.

The amount of the check depended on one's position - a captain was paid more than a deck hand. An additional check was cut for those who used their boats. Fisherman Rafe Regan said he earned $460 a day working as a captain. He also said he received $500 a day for using his boat. That may sound like good money for a day's work but Regan says during oyster season he can earn as much as $3600 a day.

Fisherman Bobby Lovell said he earned just enough money to cover the cost of pulling his crab traps out of the water. The traps are in an area that is now off limits to fishing. Lovell is so worried about supporting his family that he plans to show up at the marina every day in case an extra person is needed. Lovell thinks he may have some luck getting a spot on a boat tomorrow. He says his wife may not be too pleased because it's Mother's Day, but according to Lovell that is why he wants to go - someone is bound to stay home, he believes.

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Christie Lovell

    Thanks Kim for getting our story out. It may seem like a lot of money, which it really is, but what you have to take into perspective is that May, June , and July are the months when commercial fishermen make the money to sustain them for the rest of the year. This couldn't have happened at a worse time, had it happened during the winter months, most fishermen would have already had a nest egg built up and would not have needed the money as bad as they do now. They would have been able to focus solely on the preventive measures of the oil without the added stress of how they were going to pay their bills, which is where most are right now. Fishermen are a strong willed, hard headed breed that live to work, they love the water, it is a heritage that has been handed from parents to children for a long time, and while those who do not do it as a profession may not understand it, fishermen are fishermen forever and wouldn't have it any other way.

    May 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • doug

      why does the us goverment get off their ass and fix the oil leak and stop pointing the finger at bp just fix it and bill bp you stupped goverment

      June 2, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. michael nyc

    dome is not necessary and wasting time – oil floats to surface and can be pumped into tankers/barges –

    employ a floatation of existing tankers/barges starting at epicenter of shaft leak to recover (pump skim off surface oil)

    possible "stop leak" would be explosion deep in old shaft using a missile

    thank you

    Michael Gruters – former faculty physics Princeton late 60'

    p.s. the use of dispersing chemicals make surface removal impossible and poisons the sea – really stupid....

    May 8, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    Christie, I wish you and Bobby the best in this tragic time. Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed by CNN and for sharing your comments. It is very easy for many of us on these discussion boards to get wrapped up in the large scale environmental and political discussions. And, for those of us outside the Gulf, it's very difficult to step into the shoes of people like you and your family, who are directly impacted by this crisis. Thank you for helping me to see this crisis on a more personal level.

    May 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Zev Paiss

    As oil becomes more and more hard to find and recover this kind of challenge will be more and more typical. This is the time to shift subsidies from oil and gas and get the renewable energy industries moving ahead at full steam.

    May 8, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chad

    As often happen during trying times, we immediately look to cast blame as a way to cope and deal with these issues. I ask that as our nation tries to solve the problem of the millions of gallons of oil pouring into our oceans, that we band together in action and prayer! And, if need be, save the finger pointing until we have fully addressed this disaster!!!

    May 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sandra

    BP Officials/Executuves were on-board the Horizon - celebrating the rig's safety record –when ithe rig exploded at night. Celebrating? What were they drinking?

    Were the BP executives BOOZING when the explosion occurred? Did they distract the crew from focusing on their total responsibilities .... ?

    You know, one of those "hey guys, have a drink and watch thie sunset over this calm beautiful Gulf night ...." Then back to work ...?

    Or, was the celebration with coffee/tea and total job focus?

    I'll bet those BP executives weren't celebrating with coffee .... was Haliburton there, too?

    Yeah: Hold BP individually and collectively for ALL costs ...Halburton, too.

    May 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Esperanza

    Halliburton?? That says it all. Corrupt, dishonest, incompetent, greedy... Might as well hand them a no-bid contract and excessive payment for a nuclear bomb to explode on us!!!

    May 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mr. Meep

    There is a You Tube video that shows that straw or hay will absorb the oil and can easily be dispersed and collected afterward since it floats and then used for fuel in incinerators/generators or the oil easily recovered. It doesn't contaminate the ocean either and is green technology. Weeds or grass cut from roadsides around the US would probably work as well. How many jobs would that create? Why isn't anyone paying attention to this possibility? Tell me the downside of this idea. Quit making the situation worse with chemicals that you don't know the final hazards of. At least try it instead of shaving Llamas for Pete sake. More plants than Llamas around that I can see.

    May 8, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gord

    I guess the US and all the Eco nuts can lay off Alberta and the Oil sands:) Carefully what you wish for Eco nuts. Maybe Al Gore can see the spill from his new home on the beach. What a bunch of frauds!

    May 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    BP should use that 100 ton box to crush the pipe to get rid of the one leak that is away from the BOP. Make sure you melt the ice first.

    May 8, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    BP should have a web page giving us every detail of the conditions and every option they are working on so the whole world can help. I hope they are working on 20 or 30 options now not one at a time.

    This thing will cost $500,000,000 per day by the time we are done. Any spending on testing is a drop in the bucket compared to the losses. If we can get a fix even a day earlier, the savings are tremendous.

    This is a Global Disaster, maybe there are engineers around the world that can help. But the only info they get is from CNN. We need more details. This is way more than just an industrial accident!

    May 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Herb

    Joe – that makes too much sense. Their goal should be to stop the flow and begin immediate cleanup using private parties (fisherman), BP and federal resources. The relief well should stop the oil with sea pressure hopefully reversing the flow. I just hope the relief well doesn't blow out too! They could also just bend the pipe in half or send down a hydraulic jaws of life type device to pinch the pipe. Whatever they do, they must do it FASTER! The Gulf is flat lining.

    May 9, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. chris

    how about closing the upper dome opening and starting filling it through a valve with a warm water, while submerging the whole structure into the sea water? Using anything else than water or HCl itself, is bad for the ocean and all the live in it. Worrisome is also the falling speed of that tons heavy weight, if these simulatiuons are in real time. Michael already commented on this, it can harm that area even more, unless you apply larger
    'landing surface', which would reduce the impact pressure. It is really heartbraking to look at all that and think about all the consequences!
    Other issue of collecting the spill properly, applying as many automated oil skimmers as possible, maybe equipped with water/oil surface detecing detectors,..

    May 9, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Shane

    Since the dome did not work, it might be time to resort to some old school technology.

    There is no problem that cannot be solved with the correct application of High Explosives.

    I would venture to say that it might be time to consider blasing the well shut at the preventer, unless I am missing something with this particular well head.

    As for the other folks who mentioned getting the skimmer boats out there and start processing the crude out of the sea water. Again unless I am missing something, it seems that they are trying a whole lot of good ideas, but poorly executed.

    As for the dome?

    They should have opened more holes in the top of the dome, then plated and welded them shut when it hit bottom to prevent it from acting like a bouy in the water.

    To they not have a submarine type craft that can do welding at that depth??

    If not, I say lets blast the well shut, then figure out what to do from there. Anything just to get the leak stopped at this point.

    May 9, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. Buck

    May 8th, 2010
    11:43 pm ET I guess the US and all the Eco nuts can lay off Alberta and the Oil sands:) Carefully what you wish for Eco nuts. Maybe Al Gore can see the spill from his new home on the beach. What a bunch of frauds!

    Posted by: Gord

    ---------------------------------

    What ARE you talking about?

    May 9, 2010 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
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