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. Damiao

    http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com When the European reached the shores of Brazil their main objective was to gain riches, and to that end, they deployed technical devices that could give them the power of physical and ideological destruction. According to 16th century texts, the indigenous people received no distrust in character with their own structural values, so different from those of invaders.

    June 3, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      from this live video: bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/html/Skandi_ROV1.html
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      it seems that BP is trying to BURN the leaking oil at 5000 ft. as I've suggested 24 days ago (here and everywhere on the web) always linking (dozens times) my FIRST idea published in this article:
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      http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
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      June 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • BubbaGumb

      TOPIC: GULF COAST OIL SPILL!
      Assign the same engineers that deal with processing drain off water\sewer water\contaminated water that is processed to be clean drinking water. There is a bacterium already in the ocean and sea that eat oil, consumes oxygen and dies and leaves a dead oxygen zone in the sea. Perhaps lay 1000s of miles of sunken pipe and blow air into the gulf to help the bacteria process, eat the oil and change the GULF from being dead 50 years to 5 years or less. Begin engineering damage control of the pollution effect NOW and send the bill to BP. If we let nature deal with this oil problem on its own, the clean up may take 50 years or more. If we help nature deal with this oil problem, it may fix itself in much less time. Begin the engineering clean up now. The oil will travel up the east coast and eventual reach out to all the Atlantic. The sooner you address the processing of the existing oil in the GULF, the sooner you decrease the damage to the environment and cost to society at large. We are all going to pay for this! One final comment, my fathers septic tank for his 3 bedroom home has a air pump that blows air into the tank. The output water is 100% process with zero smell, is clear water and is drinkable. Pumping air into the system and assisting the natural bacteria really works, FACT.

      June 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      James Cameron said... "Over the last few weeks, I've watched, as we all have, with growing horror and heartache, watching what's happening in the Gulf and thinking those morons don't know what they're doing."
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      nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/06/03/2010-06-03_james_cameron_says_bp_turned_away_his_offer_to_help_with_gulf_oil_spill.html
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      June 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      oil riser cut video: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/vp/37498992#37499024
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      June 3, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      see NOW the attempt to put a cap to the oil wellhead LIVE on four different channels:
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/html/OceanInterventionROV2.html
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/html/Enterprise_ROV_1.html
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      bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/html/Enterprise_ROV_2.html
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      June 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • 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!

      In my opinion, if the US government threats the board of directors who are responsible for this disaster with law suits against them personally; the oil leak will be contained in 2-3 days.

      June 4, 2010 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. paterick

    hi, not an eningeer here, but what if they took the steel box and welded a 40 ton or 80 steel slab onto it and then lowered them over the well. would the weight be enough to push the box deep in to the ocean floor enough to seal the leak. if the oil congils so be it continue with the directional drilling plans? or is the pressure from the will so great it would push the box off?
    thanks
    pat

    June 3, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. Doug Ayers

    Just dump 10 or 20 barge loads of sand bags on top of the well and then hold it all down with 50 ton concrete blocks.
    Stop trying to save the well and just plug it up. Sand bags held back the mississippi when Katrina broke the leeve. Sandbags will stop the oil leak.

    June 3, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. SMB

    Are you kidding me??? These people are complaining about the mess and breaks BP employees are taking while trying to clean up this mess???? I've seen a set on some people, but that takes the cake. While vandalizing a store is wrong (and BP is forbidding them to go into stores now... all well and good), you go out and put on protective gear from head to toe and do manual labor for a full day in LA sun without taking frequent breaks. You'll be dead by the end of the day.. I'm absolutely appalled. Be happy that you're finally getting people in there to clean,... STH up! I don't want to hear any more of your complaining. You go out and clean it yourself then.

    June 3, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jack

    The anser to closing the oil spill is in Normady Fr. The allies made big concret blocks and floated them to France
    on D day (2 world war) To build a harbur The ideal is to make a concret block that is hollow with two chambers
    The frist chamber has no bottem (so you could sink it over the leak) the second chamber has an opening
    to the bottom and a pipe conetion at the top so they can pump the oil in to ships.
    Ps it could in 5 days and would cost less than one million so BP get on the job
    Just do it.
    Thanks Jack.

    June 3, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Maynardmc

    You can stop the leak by bolting a flanged valve to the top of the BOP. Remove the top flange connecting the riser piping. Cut off any inner pipe flush with the flange top. Install a valve that is fully open so that the oil will flow thru it while the bolts are tightened to the flange. When the valve is in place and all bolts are tight, close the valve.

    June 3, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. ADRIAN

    ITS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT THIS COMPANY HAS THE ABILITY TO FIND OIL 50 MILES OFFSHORE, DRILL A WELL, BRING IT TO THE SURFACE, BUT DONT HAVE A WAY TO STOP IT IF IT LEAKS. (SIMPLE, CUT OFF VALVE) BP CLAIMS THAT IF ALL ELSE FAILS THEY WILL HAVE A RELIEF WELL BUILT IN TWO MONTHS. WITH ALL THE LIES AND BLUNDERS THEY HAVE TOLD US, I BELIEVE THAT LIKE I BELIEVE THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON. I BELIEVE WE'RE LOOKING AT 6 MONTHS AT BEST. THE NUMBSKULLS AT BP ARE LIKE A BUNCH OF KIDS WHO HAVE TAKEN THE CAP OFF A FIRE HYDRANT, AND CANT GET IT BACK ON. THEY WOULD REALLY LIKE TO JUST RUN AND HIDE, BUT THEY CAN'T. I HOPE THEY'RE PROUD OF ALL THIER BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, AND THEY HAD BETTER SPEND IT FAST, BECAUSE IF THIS THING REALLY GETS OUT OF CONTROL AND IT RUINS THE EARTHS WATER SUPPLY, IT WILL BE THE END OF MANKIND.

    June 3, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. mike ferguson

    "IT WAS THE THIRD OF JUNE ANOTHER SLEEPY, DUSTY DELTA DAY". Will someone please show Tony Hayward the way to the Tallahatchie Bridge!!

    June 3, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dean Ricard

    For the arm chair engineers here is a little exercise ... the well pressure is 5000 lbs per sq inch or so, multiply that time the area of your dome (remember the BOP is about 8 ft in diameter) that will give you the weight required to hold down a cap... next try threading a needle from across the room and you'll get an idea of what they are faced with...

    I don't excuse the failures that lead to this disaster just that people need to get realistic about the problems being faced in containing the outcome...

    June 3, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bryan Griffin

    why is the House cam not showing the actual leak as the CNN cam is? strange....11:10 EDT

    June 3, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. james haydon

    I am not sure that I understand the problem fully. But as I understand it, the pressure of the oil at the well head according to CNN was said to be around 6000 psi and the pipe diameter is about 9" and the flow is 19000 barrels/day or around 750,000 gallons/day. This would make the velocity in the 9" pipe to be around 30' per second or around 20 miles per hour. The depth is about 5000' and so the pressure is around 2500 psi. The mud they used was said to weigh twice that of water (about the same as concrete) so they would be working against 1000 psi differential. What I don't know is if it is a pressure or velocity issue as far as pumping the mud into the well. If it is a velocity issue then I would think that they should or possibly could crimp the 9" pipe with the shear, or a modification of it, and reduce the flow to the point that the mud could be injected followed by the concrete. If it is a pressure problem perhaps an iron or lead filled concrete would work preceded with a plug of some material to prevent the mix from just falling through the pipe. In either case crimping the pipe would help.

    On another note, the bickering and finger pointing accomplishes nothing but defocuses from the issue. It is more important to solve the problem than to bicker about who is responsible, because in a sense we all to some degree are since we want cheap oil. Because of this mistakes will be made.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. James Barry Chapman

    Ok first with BP being an multi trillion dollar company with supposedly more than enough brilliant engineers then why isn't the oil stopped gushing yet?? It is because they want to save the well and not plug it they do not care at all about the people of the Gulf Coast being a resident I say that with all honesty! I am from orange beach al and there is nothing we can do here except wait for our life to be ruinned as we know it! Oh our goverment where the hell are they at President Obama is not putting forth any effort to truly help it is day 45 and multiple states livelyhoods are about to die , incomes gone, how do you live??? I know it is not our goverments fault but they should not let BP get away with these criminal acts! BP admited earlier this morning that they was in no way prepared for a deep water failure and if this is so where are the laws? There should have been requirments and plans before deep water drilling was ever allowed you should have ways to avoid massive catastrophies like the current one at hand! People are getting sick!!! What happens when the oil is all over all the beaches and people start dieing because of it? Who is going to pay for relocation of the residents
    so they don't have to live in fear trying to raise their families? Please if you take the time to read this comment back THANK YOU

    June 3, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jason

    Everyone in LA and the Gulf Coast deserves this oil spill. All of you fools who over the years have continued to vote for Republicians are getting excatly what you wated. You voted into office, over and over again, politicians who voted to empower big industry. A large marjority of you wated your "drill baby drill" and this is what your getting. The citizens of the effected Red states are responisable for this: you voted for these people so guess what? Its your problem.

    June 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • OhhhK

      Really, its the people of the coasts fault that this happened. Please tell me your just an idiot trying to stir up cr.ap and it is not your real feelings. What about the Dems that live on the Gulf Coast? By your logic, how is it thier fault? Please just shut your pie hole and leave the "blogs" to the adults.

      June 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John Svercek

    BP is throwing everything they can think of at the problem hoping to resolve it. This approach seldom works and is certainly not the most efficient way to accomplish their task. NASA deals with the same issues BP is dealing with every day, remote location, difficult environment, robots, never been done before. The Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, are managed by teams that have kept them running for 6 years, way past their expected lifetime. They have overcome many seemingly insurmountable obstacles by simulating the environment and testing solutions before they deployed them. If BP had spent time studying and testing, they would have known, mud wasn’t going to stick, junk shot was junk, and the wire cutter would bind. They would be able to act with confidence and have solved this issue long ago by deploying a solution that works. WE NEED TO GET NASA INVOLVED. Their experience with planning actions in a harsh environment, along with BPs expertise with oil wells can solve this problem. (Besides any handyman could have told you that the wire cutter was going to bind, duh.)

    June 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • OilfieldFishingToolSupervisor

      NASA is the one with the rubber "O" rings that blew up the Challanger. They should have used crush in rings like are used in high pressure flanged connections in the oilfield. Nasa could learn from the oil and gas industry.

      June 3, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. uri kollnesher

    I ask myself why does BP not try to insert a balloon into the gusher of oil and inflate it. something like neoplastic procedure. It is easier to stop the gusher using its own pressure than to try and cap it.
    uri

    June 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
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