June 18th, 2010
09:50 AM ET

Day 60: Latest oil disaster developments

[Updated at 9:50 a.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after an explosion aboard the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon on April 20:

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

- CNN brings you an account of the night the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded based on exclusive interviews with five survivors and three of their wives conducted by CNN's Anderson Cooper and the CNN Special Investigations Unit. The interviews paint perhaps the most detailed picture yet of what happened - and the possible causes of the explosion. CNN producers Scott Bronstein and Wayne Drash report.

- Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Friday that approximately 25,000 barrels of oil - slightly over 1 million gallons - were collected from BP's ruptured Gulf well in the 24-hour period ending at midnight Thursday.

- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized cleanup coordination Thursday.

"It is frustrating because it doesn't seem like the left hand knows what the right hand is doing," he said in a statement on his website. "There is no streamlined system here. This is why we keep stressing that we need to see more of a sense of urgency from the Coast Guard, federal officials and BP. We are in a war here - we are in a war against this oil that absolutely threatens our way of life."

CLEANUP

- Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is demanding to know if BP knew the Deepwater Horizon well could be gushing as much as 60,000 barrels of oil a day, and failed to inform the public. A team of government and independent scientists announced Tuesday that the flow rate might be as high as 60,000 barrels a day, but Grassley believes BP may have known sooner. A BP document provided to the senator says "an absolute worst case flow rate of 60,000 barrels a day was calculated." The document does not have a date.

- BP said it captured about 8,000 barrels (336,000 gallons) of oil from midnight to noon Thursday.

- The drilling of two relief wells has reached depths of 15,226 feet and 9,778 feet respectively, but they are not expected to be completed until August, according to BP.

- The latest wildlife report said 629 oiled birds have been recovered alive while 829 were found dead and 103 sea turtles were recovered alive while 358 were found dead.

PAYMENT

- BP has agreed to place $20 billion in an escrow fund to help compensate those affected by the oil disaster. The fund "will not supersede individuals' or states' rights to present claims in court," President Obama said. BP, he asserted, will remain liable for the environmental disaster in the Gulf.

- BP has agreed to create a $100 million fund for the purpose of compensating oil rig workers now unemployed as a result of closure of other deep-water rigs after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, Obama said.

- The judge BP wants to hear an estimated 200 lawsuits over the oil disaster gets tens of thousands of dollars a year in oil royalties and paid travel to industry conferences, financial disclosure forms show. Lawyers who practice before U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes say he's tough but fair, and a CNN review of his cases found he ruled in favor of oil companies only slightly more often than he ruled against them.

POLITICS

- Rep. Bart Stupak closed a hearing on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations - by telling BP CEO Tony Hayward, "I think the evasiveness of your answers only served to increase the frustration, not
decrease the frustration, not just of members of Congress, but that of the American people."

- During the hearing, Hayward said, "There are no suggestions I have seen so far that anyone put cost ahead of safety." Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia fired back, "With all due respect, Mr. Hayward, I think you're copping out."

- After Hayward testified that some oil samples in the Gulf were related to the Deepwater Horizon leak while others were not, and he avoided directly answering a question about whether there were plumes in the water, Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts charged, "Your testimony continues to be at odds to all independent scientists."

- Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas retracted his apology to BP on Thursday and issued his own apology for calling the $20 billion damage fund created by the oil giant a "shakedown."

- Barton had been told by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, to "apologize immediately" or lose his position on the committee, according to a senior House GOP leadership aide.

- The retraction came after the White House pounced on Barton's comment. "What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction," said a statement from spokesman Robert Gibbs.

- Police arrested Diane Wilson of the activist group Code Pink for disrupting the hearing Thursday just as Hayward was beginning his testimony. "You need to go to jail," she shouted. She has been charged with unlawful conduct for disrupting Congress.

- Six in 10 Americans disapprove of how Obama's handling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a jump from last month, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey also indicated that a vast majority of the public disapproves of how BP has handled the environmental disaster and two-thirds say making a profit rather than cleaning up the spill is oil giant's
top priority.

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Alpine21

    HONEY-I BLEW UP THE RIG! My god! Where is the sense of urgency? 60 days-> this isnt only a Gulf issue-this is a EARTH changer with NO end in sight . Its a war folks and all branches of the armed forces should be fighting it. In addition, all BP assets seized, like you would a terrorist organization! Where is the sense of U R G E N C Y!!!???

    June 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Smith in Oregon

    The Republican Lawmakers Strike Back!

    In a direct response to the shame heaped upon Republican Texan Congressman Joe Barton. During his opening remark during yesterdays Congressional Energy Hearing Joe Barton for several minutes emphatically apologized to BP and to BP's CEO Tony Hayward for what he felt to be strong arm tactics being used by President Obama to have BP place 20 BILLION dollars into a private Oil Spill relief escrow fund.

    Today, the US Republican Senators continuously filibustered a funding bill to extend needed Cobra medical benefits for millions of unemployed Americans, filibustered extending unemployment to thousands of unemployed Americans.

    As a direct result of this latest Republican filibuster, a 21 percent cut in doctor fees paid by Medicare would take effect, raising the prospect that some physicians might refuse Medicare patients. Tens of thousands of Americans who have exhausted their jobless benefits would not be eligible for more.

    States counting on $24 billion in federal aid for help with health costs might have to make up the shortfall. And a host of tax breaks benefiting businesses and individuals would not be renewed. In addition, new taxes on wealthy investment managers would not be imposed, along with an increase in liability taxes on oil companies, leading Democrats to contend that Republicans were protecting Wall Street and the oil industry.

    “They said yes to the special interest groups they always stand by,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat.

    The Republican party filibustered in a lock step fashion to NOT allow the passage of a increase in liability taxes on Oil Companys!!!

    Although Joe Barton stated he was speaking for himself and later apologized for his extremely rude and jealous remark towards President Obama, viewers of the ongoing hearing noticed the entire rank and file of the Republican lawmakers gathered and in the audience were nodding their heads with distinct approval. All Joe Barton stated was that which ALL Republican lawmakers were muttering when President Obama convinced BP to put up 20 Billion dollars rather than have the American Taxpayers pay that.

    Republican lawmakers switchboards were deluged by angry American's and today it appears The Republican Lawmakers struck back against all Americans as they read phone books to their fellow US Senators in filibustering this urgently needed bill rather than allowing it to be voted on.

    June 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bible Prophesy

    Rev 11:17 saying: "Lord God Almighty, the one who is and who was! We thank you that you have taken your great power and have begun to rule!

    Rev 11:18 The heathen were filled with rage, because the time for your anger has come, the time for the dead to be judged. The time has come to reward your servants, the prophets, and all your people, all who have reverence for you, great and small alike. THE TIME HAS COME TO DESTROY THOSE WHO DESTROY THE EARTH!"

    June 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bonnie

    Please, someone, anyone stop this gushing oil Now! As I write these words, thousands of gallons of oil continue to spew into the Gulf. Your other blogger is right...if this continues there will be no more Gulf as we have known it. Only a contaminated ocean mass deazone, and void of all living creatures! I am extremely dismayed by Tony Hayward's responses to the testimony before Capitol Hill congresspeople yesterday. The worst thing I heard him say is that there is nothing that can be done to stop the gushing oil, except the relief wells ...which are estimated for completion in late August. So, may I ask Tony, "Tony, it sounds like you will not look into any suggestions, ideas, experts' presentations, etc, due to the fact that you are resigned to only consider the relief wells, and even then you are not confident or have any idea when the gushing oil can be stopped?" ...This is horrendous, criminal and the American people will not to stop the gushing oil now, clean up the gulf waters, wetlands, marshes and save the remaining marine and wildlife.

    June 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John D.

    BP in the events of the past five years has proved they are the worst offenders in the oil and gas industry. In 2005 the were felony negligent in the the texas oil refinery explosion the Baker commission found Bp had cut corners to place profit over safety . Bp vowed that it would make changes and in 2006 created the worst Oil Spill on land in America with Alaskan North Slope incident.

    Bp has been cited for over 750 violations by osha since 2007 next offended in the industry 8 over the same period. BP record for safety concerns over profit speak for themselves deemed the most unsafe operations in the oil industry. over five years.

    BP has caused the largest disaster due to oil drilling ever in the north American continent in doing so has been cover up the facts since day one. First citing 1,000 bbl. of oil knowing the gusher was producing at least 35,000 to as much as 80,000 a day . The Key decisions on the rig have been made with costs concerns Haliburton stressed in a report to use 21 sleeves and tyvec approach Bp used six sleeves and a straight pipe saving 12 million and approximately 32 hours An acoustic test to see if the cement refractoring Job was skipped this would have insured the cement was permament and would hold the cement did not and they sent the company away that was to perform said test saved 120,000 and eight hours . When it all went to the bottom they have delayed the response of the federal by directly releasing false information to the size and scope of leak. they did not allow the hd footage to be released to the government knowing our experts could directly estimate the size and scope of said leak.

    BP is still engaged heavily in the bury this case in finding favorable judges to over see their case they are not cooperating with Congressional Investigation . They Still think they own the government. They have run maverick long enough and it is time to pull there plug stop issuing oil contracts suspend leases do not give them lucrative oil for defense contracts bring these criminals to Justice.

    This corperation is not a friend to the gulf coast they are not a partner in the oil industry they are criminals and enemies of the state and should be held to the fullest extent of the Law of Our Land....

    nice to see the republican from houston looking out for those small people that have to negotiate with the big bad obama administration.....

    June 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Debb

    It seems, to me anyway, that BP is more interested in recuperating oil than it is in stopping the leak.

    June 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John D.

    BP in the events of the past five years has proved they are the worst offenders in the oil and gas industry. In 2005 the were felony negligent in the the texas oil refinery explosion the Baker commission found Bp had cut corners to place profit over safety . Bp vowed that it would make changes and in 2006 created the worst Oil Spill on land in America with Alaskan North Slope incident.

    Bp has been cited for over 750 violations by osha since 2007 next offended in the industry 8 over the same period. BP record for safety concerns over profit speak for themselves deemed the most unsafe operations in the oil industry. over five years.

    BP has caused the largest disaster due to oil drilling ever in the north American continent in doing so has been cover up the facts since day one. First citing 1,000 bbl. of oil knowing the gusher was producing at least 35,000 to as much as 80,000 a day . The Key decisions on the rig have been made with costs concerns Haliburton stressed in a report to use 21 sleeves and tyvec approach Bp used six sleeves and a straight pipe saving 12 million and approximately 32 hours An acoustic test to see if the cement refractoring Job was skipped this would have insured the cement was permament and would hold the cement did not and they sent the company away that was to perform said test saved 120,000 and eight hours . When it all went to the bottom they have delayed the response of the federal by directly releasing false information to the size and scope of leak. they did not allow the hd footage to be released to the government knowing our experts could directly estimate the size and scope of said leak.

    BP is still engaged heavily in the bury this case in finding favorable judges to over see their case they are not cooperating with Congressional Investigation . They Still think they own the government. They have run maverick long enough and it is time to pull there plug stop issuing oil contracts suspend leases do not give them lucrative oil for defense contracts bring these criminals to Justice.

    This corperation is not a friend to the gulf coast they are not a partner in the oil industry they are criminals and enemies of the state and should be held to the fullest extent of the Law of Our Land....

    June 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D.

      proper grammar check
      proper structure of essay check
      use of words to form simple 8th grade reading check
      bp is a evil monster that needs to be destroyed in detail it needs to be bought and sold to insure the money is needed
      tarp funds remaining can buy all outstanding shares we own bp.....

      June 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PJ

    Friday June 18th.4:30pm EST.....the Boston Globe is reporting that Hayward has been relieved of his day to day duties on the Gulf disaster. Has CNN missed this?

    June 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John D.

    if you are unaware that republicans and big oil are bed partners and g.w and the bick dick hasn't clued you in yet you have lived in a cave well welcome to america republicans biggest campaign contributer is big oil.....

    June 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Trev

    This is a disaster that should be taken to the highest level. We should ban BP from ever stepping foot in our land forever let them make there money some where else. after all the lies they cant be trusted. I would rather buy gas from citgo than buy from BP. We are all just sleeping with the enemy only one of them talks alot of garage and the one known as BP ruined our beaches BP you deserve the middle finger.

    June 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Eric K Tapp

    Dear Sir, Solution for Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak! Why don't they use a large piston to stick down into the pipe with expandable rings that cut into the pipe to hold tight? then you could repeat this with another one behind that...Then fill with concrete. Thank You, Eric K Tapp, President of Android Emergency Disaster Relief.org PS: I see this mess has been dropped into the US Navy's lap.

    June 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brenton Wolf

    Can someone tell me why they don't siphon oil from the surface with a machine that can do that- why don't they release the microbes on the beaches to eat the oil- why don't they let people properly outfitted help clean-with BP having so many oil operations are they all that shoddy? This is insanity

    June 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan Willmann

      Valid question! Reason: the oil industry controls Louisiana politicians. The state government had NO plans for dealing with any oil industry accident. No plan, no equipment, no intelligence! Now Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal screams for the federal government to "save his state" when just a few months ago he was busy preaching the doctrine of "less big government, less federal interference in states affairs"! Actually he was "campaigning" for the next Presidential election as one of the "hopefuls" of the Party of No. I hope this guy's political career is over, it should be!

      June 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pkfops

    The GOP to BP. "I'm sorry".

    June 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John D.

    eat your heart out usama you destroyed two buildings and we will hunt you and your organization forever to ther ends of the earth these idiots destroyed an ocean and we are giving a harsh reprimand a 6 month time out and a fine....
    fair right mr barty from huston i think houston we have a seroius problem....

    June 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John D.

    here the question why hasnt the transcripts the nsa and other agencies on the radio and internet from the rig deep water horizon to the corperate mainland in houston for the 48 hours prior to end of communication (the rig burned ) being availible to congress or the justice department?

    June 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
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