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
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. jim elliot

    Is this a Shell game? I just realized that maybe the Obama administration has just moved "Don't ask don't tell" policy from gays serving in the miilitary to the oil industry and cleanup of the gulf oil spill.
    Don't tell? the truth is they've recovered or burned virtually "0%" of the oil released.
    If this is just the way it is they should be telling the public the truth – there is no way to clean this up so why try?
    We have a budget and we just arent' willing to spend the money to clean this up or try to?
    Current workers hospitalized had "safety glasses"? They needed respirators becasue of the fumes they were breathing. I know the Coastguard is not made up of a bunch of idiots, but this sure makes them look it run by idiots or they think the public is a bunch of idiots? Maybe a bit of both...
    This is a democracy and voters need to know the truth to have a chance at making good decisions.

    May 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tricia

    The negligent people that caused this disaster need to be investigated, charged, arrested, and convicted. If they cared so much about people, animals and the environment, why was a plan in place long before this disaster occurred! I use to be in awe of power people, but the older I get, the more I realize we have our lives in the hands of nothing but incompetent morons! Do men ever ask the questions like: What, Why, When, How, Where, etc. Women are accused of being chronic worriers when they want to know why, when, etc. WE would have had several back up plans. Why are minute to minute planners in high level positions that can allow a disaster of this magnitude!?! This is absolutely disgusting!

    May 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike Gordie

    Did my entry post

    May 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Malik

    There has been a race of people that have done nothing but pollute, kill and destroy since they first set foot into this hemisphere. Now i know many of you will say that my comments are racist, but really theyre not, theyre simply a fact. Its fact that this race has killed people, enslaved people, and wiped out trees, plants, and animals in this hemisphere like a disease. This oil spill is just another example of how destructive these people are. My point in making these comments is to say to you all who belong to this race of people that you all need to seriously change your mentality, ideology, and ways because at the rate your going this planet and all of the creatures that inhabit it are doomed!

    May 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. matthew

    why try to cap it first? wouldn't it be easier to just contain the leak from the source, drop a sleeve over it and contain the oil up to the suface and pump it into a tanker .

    May 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rikjamez

    This ' Top Kill ' operation keeps getting referred to as 'Operation Top Kill'. Is it not an industry practice, in which you ' kill ' a well head or ' BOP ' ? It sounds to me like they keep referring to it like it is a military mission with a code name, such as ' Operation Desert Storm ' , when it is a practice normally called a Top Kill.

    May 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ali

    It's entirely fair to jump on BP right now. I am sure a lot of us want to jump on all oil companies, so believe me when something like this happens fingers will be pointed at the responsible party.

    If you don't have the safety precautions to prevent something like this from happening then you shouldn't drill in the first place. We cannot allow a companies' greed and attempts to increase profits come at the cost of destroying our oceans.

    May 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. matthew

    is it so hard to think a conctreate cylinder 10' wide 6' tall with 18' walls, 4' soft rubber base and a cavas reinforced gortex material hose 10' wide attached to the top of the the concreate base and extended to the surface and pumped into a tanker wouldnt at least stop the contamination from growing and then work on the problem of capping or killing the well. after all the longer time goes by the worse its getting, anyone else think that containment should be the focus instead of the shot in the dark "5,000' underwater topkill "

    May 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chas J,

    OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, BP, HALBURTON. TRANSOCEANIC, OIL LOBBIST WHO ALLOWED COMPANIES TO OPERATE WITH FAULTY STOP GAPS A MILE UNDER THE OCEAN!!!!

    May 29, 2010 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Criaus

    The pipe casing collapsed within 20 hours of Halliburton (connections to Cheney) cementing the pipe.

    Criaus

    http://therealnewsjunkies.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=859527:BlogPost:27327

    May 29, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Criaus

    http://therealnewsjunkies.ning.com/

    The Future Depends on Knowing

    Criaus

    May 29, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jessie

    This is unfortunate, and should not have happened. We need to concentrate on cleaning it and fixing it. We also need to examane our process. Pointing fingers does nothing for us rate now, so lets put our heads together and fix the problem.

    May 29, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ronakd

    Don't know why were blaming BP after all we are the ones that don't comply with our rulls and strict laws for other countries to follow and one of them is drilling for oil and what the safety guidelines are. BP wanted to use all safety equipment but the UNITED STATES oil company don't obide by their own safety laws so here you have a big mess that will never be cleaned up plus that, how could it. If you really want to complain come on down to Florida and help clean up the mess this will take thousands of thousands of people.

    May 29, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bobby Ray

    I would be interested on knowing how many positions at the MMS, who were "regulating" the safety of this oil platform, are being held up by the Senate Republicans. There are hundreds of appointed positions still not approved or denied, just held up, a year and a half into Obama's Presidency.

    May 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David Foster

    Simplicity – Set two huge ankors on either side of the leak, attach chains with a winch from one ankor to the other, have the chains go right over the leak, weld a curved steel plate to the chains right over the leak, attach a thick flexible fabric material to the steel plate – winch the assembly down pulling the fabric down over the leak.

    May 29, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
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