June 10th, 2010
03:17 PM ET

Day 52: Latest oil disaster developments

[Updated 7:06 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20:

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

- National Incident Commander Thad Allen sent a letter Thursday to BP board Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg asking that he "and any appropriate officials from BP" meet Wednesday with senior administration officials, including President Obama. Read the letter

- The flow of oil from the broken pipe in the Gulf of Mexico - before an insertion tube was placed inside, and BP cut the pipe and put a containment cap on the blowout preventer on June 3 - is now estimated to be from 20,000 barrels to 40,000 barrels per day, a federal scientist said Thursday. The previous estimate by researchers, made two weeks ago, was 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day.

- BP announced $25 million grants to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

CLEANUP

- BP will begin testing a second rig-based system to catch oil this weekend. It would catch an extra 10,000 barrels a day, bringing daily total recovery capacity to 28,000 barrels, said Ken Wells, BP's senior vice president for exploration and production.

- Federal agencies responsible for monitoring the toll to wildlife reported Thursday that 473 oiled birds have been collected alive; 658 were dead. The report said 52 sea turtles have been collected alive; 279 were dead.

- BP has collected about 73,300 barrels (about 3 million gallons) of oil since it placed a containment cap on its ruptured well, the company said.

- The collected oil was transferred from the drilling ship Discoverer Enterprise to a second ship, the Massachusetts, BP said. The Massachusetts will transport the oil for discharge at an onshore terminal.

- Frustration boiled over Thursday as federal and local officials complained at a key Senate governmental affairs subcommittee hearing that it remains unclear who is in charge of the oil disaster response. Among other things, they urged the establishment of a clearer command-and-control system to accelerate the decision-making process and the creation of a more definitive chain of accountability. "I have spent more time fighting the officials of BP and the Coast Guard than fighting the oil," said Billy Nungesser, president of Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish. What is needed is someone "with the guts and the will to make decisions."

- The complaints came one day after federal authorities ordered BP to come up with a contingency plan by Friday for collecting oil that is still gushing out of the ruptured undersea well.

- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts alongshore currents becoming more westward over the next few days. That should prevent the oil from moving east. But the agency said that coastal regions between Horn Island, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, may continue to see oil come ashore on beaches. To the west of the Mississippi Delta, oil still floating on the ocean could come ashore between Timbalier Bay and Southwest Pass.

- Images of oil-soaked birds and turtles have prompted a surge in people wanting to volunteer to help in the cleanup and rehabilitation process, said Anna Keene, programs director at the conservation group Alabama Coastal Foundation.

- Government scientists estimate that the spill's flow rate after last week's cut of the well's riser pipe increased by 4 to 5 percent. That's well below an increase of as much as 20 percent that administration officials had indicated could happen.

- BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles denied Wednesday that BP has ordered cleanup workers not to talk to reporters.

- States are tracking the disaster's health impact, including respiratory and skin irritation problems in Louisiana and Alabama, health officials said.

ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

- Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum asked BP on Thursday to deposit $2.5 billion into an interest-earning escrow account so the state can be assured of its availability over the long-term recovery period.

- BP has pledged to speed up its payment of claims to businesses affected by the oil disaster, said Tracy Wareing, a Federal Emergency Management Agency adviser to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

- BP provided more insight into its claims process Tuesday, saying that as of Monday, it has paid nearly $49 million to individuals and businesses affected by the spill. The company also said it expects to issue a second round of payments this month to cover anticipated lost income or profits, bringing the total it has paid to about $84 million.

- Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said Tuesday that he was frustrated with BP's reimbursement process, announcing that he will send National Guard troops and emergency management workers into affected communities to help residents with the preparation of claims forms.

POLITICS

- The Obama administration won't reconsider its moratorium on deepwater oil drilling "without knowing exactly what happened" to cause the oil disaster, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday. The administration ordered the six-month halt to allow time for an investigation into the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon. But Louisiana officials have argued that the moratorium puts thousands of jobs at risk on the Gulf Coast.

- Some of the rig victims' families have objected to the moratorium. "We support drilling in the Gulf," said the widow of one of the 11 oil rig workers killed in the explosion. "It's an economic need and would devastate Southern states."

- President Obama hosted the families of the 11 workers killed in the BP oil rig explosion at the White House on Thursday afternoon. Victims' family members and congressmen pushed for legislation removing oil drilling liability limits. They said they hoped that holding the corporations responsible would prevent a similar accident from occurring.

- Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, blasted BP on Thursday for failing to attend her subcommittee's hearing on oil and gas worker safety. "Honestly, I find it very outrageous that even after an accident that killed 11 workers, BP is not putting a high enough priority on worker safety to send a representative to a hearing specifically focused on protecting workers in their industry," said Murray, the chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee's Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety.

- House Republican leader John Boehner mocked Congress on Thursday for holding multiple hearings on the disaster before experts have figured out how to stop the undersea gusher. He sarcastically called the packed hearing schedule "Congress at its best."

- Obama will make another visit to the Gulf Coast next week to review efforts to contain and clean up the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

- BP's top official, Tony Hayward, has been asked to appear at a hearing June 17 before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

- Advocacy groups are planning a nationwide vigil for later this month.

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. damiao

    http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com check out the main headline and spread it for friends, please....

    June 10, 2010 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      READ THIS AMAZING SCOOP ABOUT HOW BP WOULD BEEN ABLE TO STOP THE OIL SPILL FROM THE EARLY DAYS !!!
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      http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
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      WHY the Press hasn't seen it in the BP video??? WHY the Press STILL don't talks about that??? is BP so powerful???
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      June 10, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Treeza

      I just can't believe that the oil spill continues. I am stunned there ar no contingency arrangements. I do not know why BP is still be in charge of the operation. BP should be under the direction of an appropriate government or environmental authority. It seems immoral that BP would continue to consider and discuss capturing oil. The environment which belongs to all of us should be their (and our) first and only priority.

      June 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nyla Jones

      I saw an interesting idea a few days ago and received an email that has been sent to quite a few people. I was by a company called WiseDome inc. They offered a good way to stopping this leak that I thought was really good. Though I am not a scientist or engineer, I sounded like it would work. I tried to provide a link but I cannot get it to work. If you go to linked in there are a few post where it is featured. It was under a group labeled "B.P. Oil Rig Disaster – Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill ". The discussion was labeled "We have provided the solution for the "BP Oil Spill" in the Gulf of Mexico. Why do you think the U.S. Government and BP are not listening?" Read the second iteration of the solution. It was changed after the riser was cut.
      God bless these people.

      June 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shannon

      IS THIS AMERICA??? IS THIS 2010???? Where are all the engineers and scientist??? Why is BP still calling the shots??? Where is our environmental protection agencies??? Where is Obama??? Why are we not seeing results??? As I continue to read about this oil spill I am completely disheartened by the lack of progress.....I mean come on we are on the 52nd day of watching this oil leak into our ocean. Seriously..........it's 2010! I am in complete and total fear of the continued effects this has on our planet and how it will effect our childrens children.

      June 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthews

      Stop worrying about the oil mess! Kevin Costner just sold the US Congress his secret oil separation machine... no joke!

      Check it out: http://bit.ly/cxcYPl

      Cracks me up... there's our tax dollars at work again. #pathetic

      June 10, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gil

    Latest news is that BP' stock is plunging, investors are fleeing fearing a dividend freeze and one industry insider, Matt Simmons (CNN Money report) predicts BP will file chapter 11 bankruptcy within weeks. To top this all off BP is stalling on paying out claims to impacted families and businesses asking them for more and more financial records going back 3 years. They are at risk of losing homes and businesses soon. We do need to help and need to help now.

    I'm donating my music to help Global Green USA (a highly rated 4 star charity by charity navigator + CEO Matt Petersen is a Blogger here at Huff Po) with the relief effort. It's badly needed especially after seeing the CNN report today about BP not paying the claims in a timely manner. People could lose their homes and businesses because BP is stalling. This donation has been authorized by and coordinated with Global Green USA. Please read my Blog post to find out more information about what Global green is doing and hear the songs. They are doing good things and need help:

    http://gil-gilsmusic.blogspot.com/2010/06/gulf-coast-cleanup-its-bps.html

    June 10, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nico

    Here in Europe we are following the news about this oil spill. Even without the probability that the gulf stream will/might carry the oil/chemicals our way, this is a disaster that affects the whole world. There are a few things which strikes me: it seems as if this is not a big issue – based on the news that is spread about it – and BP seems to be putting quite some effort in keeping it out of the picture. How come they get away with keeping the press away? Ok, the main concern now should be on the oil spill but I think that future generations might benefit from knowing what is happening.

    June 10, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Janelle C.

    WHY IS THERE NO UPDATE ON THE NEXT STEPS TO SHUT OFF THE OIL FLOW???? Where is Obama's team of experts??? Why is the gov't not taking charge to shut this thing off? BP is only concerned about collecting oil. Let's start trying some of the many ideas that have been put out there. Forget the tire mulch and mud and pump this thing full of exploosives and blast the hole they drilled shut already!!!

    June 10, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Darrell

      They have no other plan. I submitted three different ideas to stop the disaster and received a standard rejection email. (1) unbolt the Flange at the Flex Joint and bolt on a new 21" Riser and run it to the surface. (2) Remove the Flange from the Flex Joint and Couple an 8" line to the drill stem in the riser and BOTTOM KILL the well by pumping Mud down the Drill stem (this is how drillers pump mud down a well during normal drilling operations. (3)Remove the Flange from the Flex Joint and bolt on a 4 foot long flange spool piece with a blind flange. I am retired from the O&G Engineering business and have expertise in the field. this well can be killed in less than a week.

      June 10, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shirl

      Because the government nor anyone else knows how to work at these depths. As BP has said over and over this has never been done before. This is largely trial and error. If they try to rush things THEY CAN MAKE THINGS A
      LOT WORSE with more loss of life and much worse damage. Having seen the original explosions repeatedly I am amazed there wasn't many more lives loss.
      On top of all this BP has to deal with all the endless reporters of which the biggest offender seems to be CNN. Why they can't let these people get on with what they need to be doing I don't know. There is plenty of time later to sling mud. CNN needs to put things into perspective for their audience by reminding them of the Union Carbide tragedy in Bhopal India 1984 in which upwards of 15,000 people were killed not eleven. No American representative from Union
      Carbide ever appeared in court. They settled with the Indian government in 1989 in the amount of 470,000,000. What if BP had taken this way out? As it turned out and with the reaction of the American piople and the American government perhaps they should have.
      Would have been better for their stocknolders.

      ffffffff

      c

      where is the rest of my message>>>

      June 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ange B

    I am saddened and sickened by the total lack of disregard for the environment that we all share, the air we all breathe, the water we all drink and this planet we live in together – all ruined by greed and almost single handedly by one company.

    First they said 5,000 gallons of oil a day, then it was 500,000 gallons of oil a day, and then today some news channel says that the size of the oil spill is about the size of the Valdez every 2 days. If my numbers are right and as it seems that the Valdez had 11 million gallons on board, and if what that reporter said was true ... that's 5.5 million gallons of oil a day – not 500,000! It gets worse and worse.

    Even if something is done quickly, my guess is the economic fallout from loss of jobs, homes, and livelihoods permanently will have effects far exceeding what anyone expects. This will also spread to the cost of food, and the costs to produce that food (fish waste products are often used as fertilizer – remember?). I only turn on the TV any more to hopefully hear that they have found an effective solution or are using multiple effective solutions to:
    1) stop the leak immediately – using any and all means necessary
    2) effectively remove the oil from the water (there are companies that have tried to market such ideas for bunker oil from ships)
    3) start effective massive water quality remediation
    4) begin effective environmental shore and inland waterways cleanup methods on a massive scale
    5) I would love to hear that BP will be ordered to pay volunteers to help clean up their mess as permanent full-time employees with full benefits and thereby increase the numbers of people actually doing the cleanup. It won't replace all of the jobs lost, but it would help economically and environmentally and bring significantly more numbers of people in to help.

    That's my hope to see all of these being implemented within days on massive scales – not piecemeal pockets of action! It is shameful that they rely on volunteers. I commend all volunteers for their efforts, but the American public should not be expected to shoulder this burden alone and let the company literally get away with economic disaster and environmental murder.

    June 10, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Treeeza

      I agree with you completely.

      June 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darrell

      Crude is coming out of the 21" Diameter Riser at a flow rate of at LEAST 5.6 Feet per second. That equates to 170,000 Barrels a day. I've been calculating flow rates on process piping since the 60's. Any Piping Engineer could see the flow rate. The leak has gotten worse not better.

      June 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Timeonics

    Could a mccain/palin presidency and vice presidency have handled this better. Everyone else seems to have weighed in
    on this, where are they now. Don't forget we have pipelines in alaska.

    June 10, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. Michael Ostrowski

    From a degreed mechanical engineer with five patents in fluid mechanics-BP, media and Government reports on numbers and the effectiveness of the current top hat and suction to the surface are assuming that the flow rate from the well is independent from the presence of the top hat and suction to the surface vessel. The media and Government should ask that question – could it be that the well is actually flowing more from the geological formation itself because of the suction ( i.e . reduced "static hydrobaric backpressure" at that ocean depth ). ???

    June 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul Panzer

    I hope obama don't beliebe the ferrytale about the disaster, because i hat the lying bp-Konzern and wish all Manager, that theire Children will also be ill from the f..... Oil. Stop bp now and Shot them to the Moon.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John Kendall

    Why doesn't the media just report the facts. This is not the worlds biggest oil spill or even the largest in the US. That happened in 1909-1910 in Kern County, California. 1,230,000 tons compared to approximately 250,000 tons in the Gulf. I rarely believe the press because they usually do not research the facts.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      The Kern County oil 'spill' was on land. That's a different situation entirely.

      June 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • All American!

      I don't think anyone knows for sure yet how much has been released!

      June 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Ostrowski

      John - as posted above- what the numbers really have been at day one and now and in between are very difficult to know-the formation pressure, the flow at various times w/BP's attempts, and now the suction (reduction of hydrobaric pressure - "From a degreed mechanical engineer with five patents in fluid mechanics-BP, media and Government reports on numbers and the effectiveness of the current top hat and suction to the surface are assuming that the flow rate from the well is independent from the presence of the top hat and suction to the surface vessel. The media and Government should ask that question – could it be that the well is actually flowing more from the geological formation itself because of the suction ( i.e . reduced "static hydrobaric backpressure" at that ocean depth ). ???"

      June 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 1814, this is an oil spill contingency plan that has a proven extraction process. If British Petroleum’s hired goons stop authorized U.S. press from filming on American Soil just one more time, History may repeat its self!

    THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS, by Johnny Horton: In 1814 we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip, we took a little bacon and we took a little beans, we caught the bloody British in a town in New Orleans

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    We looked down the river and we see'd the British come, there must have been a hundred of'em, beatin' on the drums They stepped so high, and they made their bugles ring, we stood by our cotton bales, and didn't say a thing

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise if we didn't fire our muskets 'Till we looked 'em in the eye, we held our fire 'Till we see'd their faces well Then we opened up our squirrel guns And really gave 'em – well we

    Fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Yeah, they ran through the briars And they ran through the brambles And they ran through the bushes Where the rabbit couldn't go They ran so fast That the hounds couldn't catch 'em On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind And when we touched the powder off the gator lost his mind

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Yeah, they ran through the briars And they ran through the brambles And they ran through the bushes Where the rabbit couldn't go They ran so fast That hounds couldn't catch 'em On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Go Johnny!

    We posted a PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May 2010, this is a post oil spill contingency plan that has a proven Oil Spill extraction process and a patented Hydro-Carbon (emissions free) recycling technology.

    We’ve found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that will extract up to 98% of oil spill contaminants from the surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It also includes contingencies for, re-processing all of the oil drenched materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities creating, long term renewable energy revenues for the community.

    We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to minimize their cost by denying problems exist. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies our plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on an oil spill they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. This cannot be allowed to go on any longer! We have four suggestions to remedy this situation.

    a. Executive orders from the president to keep BP within five miles of their oil rig to work on plugging their oil well.
    b. Executive orders from the president keeping BP completely out of the state containment and clean-up process.
    c. Executive orders from the president to keep BP paying for the affected business and state clean-up’s, on time.
    d. Find a way to approve pro-active plans rapidly and, for God’s sake, make decisions without first consulting BP.

    To date, BP has not plugged the well, contained the oil spill or even moved quickly to approve state contingency plans to keep oil off their shores. BP needs to plug their damned hole and pay the states for containment and clean-up operations.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Craig N. Barthelmas ge1re22@aol.com

    June 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shirl

      CRAIG,

      Would you prefer the response of Union Carbide in the 1984 Bhopal, India disaster in which more than 15,000 were killed (They don't really know.) There was never an American response in court from Union Csrbide. They settled with the Indian government in 1989 for 470 million. What BP is trying to do now to remedy all the resulting disasterous situations is tremendous in comparison. Of course they are at least five years too early if they want to do things the
      american way. Perhaps it would have been smarter of them especially for the stockholders!!!! It is a terrible thing and I don't know if the environmentalist idea of further out and deeper is a good idea. I personally am too old to go back to horse riding everywhere!!!

      June 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ry petermann

    Check out this link for a short and to the point song that address the oil spill. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu-9Dob_oXw

    June 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Adam

    why are people comparing past oil spills on land to this? the mess we have right now is far worse than the oil disasters that happened on land. 1) they havent found a way to stop this "leak" if you want to call it that. 2) this is going to be a huge contamination hazard to multiple states if its not fixed ASAP. 3) if a hurricane develops and spreads theres going to be a big problem in a lot more states.

    June 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Michael Ostrowski

    Dead weight solution- fill a RO/RO container with cement or iron ore on the surface, drop it with cable and air ballast buoys if needed ... at ocean floor, cut off everything at ocean floor level, clear the area, lower the dead weight to simply sit on it... if it works, the August relief wells may not be needed, and/or they can take their time doing that b/c the bleeding will be stopped.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sherry Callahan

    Stop the oil from reaching the shore by building sand barriers from the coastal waterline.

    Each city that border’s the Gulf of Mexico should dredge/dug the sand up into barrier islands. This would employee many local people and create revenue for the local business. Save OUR Shorelines and help save the Wet Lands that house OUR wildlife.

    The Bill is to be paid by BP, ASAP (if not sooner!

    June 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Richard Dobyns

    It is very easy to stop oil or 90% by smipley building very heavy large funnel setting on pipe but BP not be able to recover any more they will never go for it. greed greed greed.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
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