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

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

[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. anita

    These hydrates are inflammable, I suppose.(?)

    May 9, 2010 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. question?

    Its too bad the fisherman can't collect the oil and use it or sell it. think about it,

    May 9, 2010 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. michael nyc

    hello world

    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....

    it is not proposed to use "hair" skimmers, but hoses that submerge and as water/oil mix is pumped into tanker/barge it is replaced by same.
    there are many tankers/barges currently in service to other gulf rigs.
    as the tanker hold fills separated water from the bottom is pumped back.
    there are single super-tankers that can hold the total spill.
    many tankers can be used and return to refineries

    May 9, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Herb

    Boycott BP stations. I can not believe they are waiting until tomorrow just to make a decision! What, are they taking a break for Mother's Day? Mother Nature won't be happy.
    It seems they WANT this leak to be as big as possible. These are not smart people – BP should be put out of the oil business forever.

    May 9, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. austin

    this is great idea because the dome can hold the oil inside.

    May 9, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Terersa

    So, why can't the containment dome be used in a different manner – such as run a hose up underneath the edge and pump the collected oil out that way?

    Seems like that would work.

    May 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dhali llama

    Rather than shaving the llamas, I think we should drop the llamas from helicopters and allow them to swim around in the oil for a while. Once their wool is saturated we can extract them and wring out the oil so there's no loss at all! What is this? Are we living in the town of Bedrock? Is this the best idea real people could come up with or is Fred Flintstone running the show? LLAMAS? REALLY?

    May 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tina

    should have never drilled in the gulf of mexico should have left it all alone all you doing is ruining our earth for everyone

    May 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ron Beddome

    Hydrate cristals plugged the top of the dome, as a sesult of the gas oil mix contacting the colder water. I am only a mechanic not an engineer but I think that if they could freeze the blow out preventer with liquid propane or a simular gas- this would result in a tempory plug as other repairs were done. Liquid propane vented at the leak would not only freeze the oil and what ever else is coming up the pipe , but it would also easly freeze the sea water as well. I am sure that this would work at sea level but dont know thre affects of pressure a mile under the water. Has any body considered this idea?

    May 9, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    The you tube video about the switchgrass/ pellets is a briliant idea! As a professor of biochemistry there is not a single plant material on earth that can absorb its weight 20 fold and not absorb water- as switch- in the process-geez common BP think the science out! You have a great idea and your looking at throwing garbage in the hole

    Why dont you use the switchgrass also-at those tempatures down in the hole- certain species of switch whos lignin content will soliidy set up and wil cast in place the plug

    and guess what? once set up- the material can go out in the sea and be plant material- duh BP.............

    Exxon and Chevron has done over years- how do i know? i use to work for them and seen it done time and time again

    May 9, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Smith in Oregon

    It is entirely refreshing given the horrific heavy crude Oil spill gushing in the once pristine Gulf of Mexico that Media and Public discussion has turned to the huge ongoing grievous harm that Petrol-Chemicals have done to ALL Americans and ALL humans living and breathing on earth.

    For many years I have complained sometimes loudly that 'we' are being bathed in carcinogenic chemicals in the air and in our food as a result of Big Oil, Big Coal and Big on burning fossil fuels.

    These carcinogenic chemicals cause a wide range of diseases which impact all humanity on earth and cost Americans an enormous amount on resulting Health Care just dealing with those suffering directly and indirectly from chronic exposure to Petro-Chemicals.

    How many millions were chronically exposed and poisoned by LEAD when Big Oil placed Lead in Gasoline for decades? Everyone knew blackberry's and fruit that grew along the roads in America were heavily contaminated with LEAD.

    Was Big Oil sued and forced to pay for millions of infants and adults suffering from chronic LEAD poisoning? Of course not, they owned the courts and most of the Republican lawmakers.

    How many millions were chronically exposed and poisoned by Wood Alcohol which former President Big Oil Bush sr. ordered to add to Gasoline? Wood Alcohol is a known carcinogen and a strong poison in aquifers and ground water across America became contaminated with Wood Alcohol as a result.

    Was Big Oil sued and forced to pay for millions of infants and adults suffering from Wood Alcohol poisoning? Of course not, they owned the courts and most of the Republican lawmakers.

    Imagine the same Republican lawmakers entirely outlawing and banning many recreational drugs whose LD50 toxicity is so large it is practically impossible to ingest a life threatening amount, AND yet those same corrupt lawmakers and jurists declare it is fine for their Big Oil and Big Coal primary donors to pour, spew and produce enormous amounts of extremely toxic chemicals which end up in your food, in the air you breath and in the water YOU drink!

    The current system of vastly corrupt laws and regulations places the burden on the government to prove that a chemical is unsafe before it can removed from the market. The standards are so high, the government has been unable to ban chemicals such as asbestos, a widely recognized carcinogen that is prohibited in many other countries.

    About 80,000 chemicals are in commercial use in the United States, but federal regulators have assessed only about 200 for safety.

    Big Pharma's products that are being flushed down the toilets across America and around the world are poisoning everyone downstream whose local and city water supply's depend on that fresh water.

    Mother's milk is increasingly being ever more contaminated with dangerous Petro-Chemical's. For decades Big Oil and Big Coal have been protected from laws and regulations which would force them to deal with the results of their products. Force them to pay for the damage they cause and the diseases that result.

    Mothers across America and around the world should stand up against Big Oil and Big Coal and demand they and their toxic chemicals be held entirely accountable for any and all ill effects they produce and contribute to the infant and human condition.

    May 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Klay

    A FIX for the Gulf Oil Leak - DOME - May 9, 2010

    heavy duty- industrial grade, inline, axial flow, fan/blower - for the top of the DOME

    enclosed, direct drive, in line, enclosed fan to draw the oil up and thru the funnel and also break it up; keep it fluid, or more fluid.

    also, the the sides near the top of the Dome need to be opened out to either let oil out and/or water in.

    to get the OIL to surface may require a series of the inline fans to keep the OIL moving... and broken up ..

    depending only on the tendency of oil to rise in water apparently is not and will not be enough till it gets in too the warmer water, near the surface.

    also, you'er having problems because the pipe from the ship on surface

    which is to PUMP the oil to the surface has not been deployed. said Pipe

    should be attached to the dome and the pumps running at the time you

    install it over the BOP (Blowout Preventer). The oil needs some place to

    go and some help getting there.

    This is a serious proposal.


    Please forward this to


    Homeland security



    anyone who is involved



    May 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kathleen foos

    Smith from oregon,you did say it great,I'll join that mothers club,how do we start?I like the mechanic suggestion,the grass,its all helpfull to hear the ideas,even if they dont take your idea it may open a thought for them that will work.It makes me proud of our country to see peoples ideas.,maybe some fresh insight is what it will take.Keep the good ideas rolling in.The llama being drug through was a much needed laugh.Corraling and cleaningf on spot with many ships, also!I dont know about the plugging with junk theory,I didn't like the box idea,but maybe the box will still work,dont like the small hole on the top..Magnets ?Blow it up?I dont know,couldnt get much worse could it?I do think explosives probably is what it will come to if the magnets dont work.Explosion caused this,It may take a force that big to contain it.

    May 9, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Vikki Zilonis

    I find it funny how CNN has managed to squash the oil spill out of reporting existence. I tune into CNN daily for my daily dose of the news and to see stories such as Welfare Farmer's Markets, Tiger Woods and even this NYC almost bombing take precedence over this oil spill makes me sick to my stomach. This needs to be be front and center. Why are you not there reporting? Why are you not there showing the world what is really going on down there in the gulf? CNN had 10x more coverage for Haiti than it has for our own country's despair. CNN needs to get on the ball – get down to the Gulf and report the devastation. Or did BP make you sign a contract to not cover this?

    May 9, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Larry Liggett

    I'm sure there's many men smarter then I am about ways to fix the oil suction dome, but I do have 36 years experence in steam, and oil. I suggest pulling that dome back to the docks, placing an insulationing blanket around the dome, then sandwich another medal cover over the insulation blanket, then installing a heavy duty, large copper, heat exchanger on the inside of the dome, with an inlet and outlet line extending out the top of the dome, to the ship above, The heavy duty insulated 250# super heated steam line, and the insulated return, this will keep recirculating the steam, And will heat the sticky tar base oil to a consistency of water, and melt the ice which is blocking the suction pipes, this should work. Please suggest this to the Engineers in charge.

    May 9, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
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