August 5th, 2010
09:26 AM ET

Cautious optimism as BP looks to next phase of 'static kill'

Some residents along the Gulf coast are expressing guarded optimism Thursday as BP plans to start pouring cement into its crippled well and the government reports that about 74 percent of the oil spilled into the Gulf since April has been cleaned up.

"We're cautiously optimistic that this is the beginning of the end," Deano Bonano, the director of Homeland Security for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, told CNN's "American Morning." But he added a note of skepticism, saying it's "certainly not the end."

There are still several steps to go to permanently kill the well. The cementing set to begin Thursday will be the next phase of the "static kill," a process designed to drive oil back into the well reservoir. In the first phase of that procedure Tuesday, BP sent 2,300 barrels of heavy drilling mud down the well.

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 4th, 2010
10:01 PM ET

BP to pour cement down crippled well to seal it

With its well-killing effort reported to be going "extremely well," BP now plans to start pouring concrete into the crippled well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. official overseeing the response to the spill, retired Adm. Thad Allen, has given BP a green light to pour cement on top of the 2,300 barrels of heavy drilling mud already sent down the well. The mud drove oil back into the reservoir in an operation known as a "static kill."

BP expects to start pumping the cement Thursday.

But Allen said BP should follow that with a second well-killing procedure which has been in the works as sort of an insurance policy - pouring additional mud and cement through a relief well that's expected to be ready in mid-August.

"Based on the successful completion of the static kill procedure and a positive evaluation of the test results, I have authorized BP to cement its damaged well," Allen said in a statement. "I made it clear that implementation of this procedure shall in no way delay the completion of the relief well."

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 4th, 2010
09:13 AM ET

'Final kill' of damaged Gulf oil well may be at hand

A top Obama administration official said Wednesday the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico is "turning a corner," with the "vast majority" of the oil now gone and the procedure to permanently seal BP's crippled well apparently working.

"We definitely are making progress. The oil hasn't been leaking for some time," Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, told CNN's "American Morning." "The static kill is going well, but ultimately, it's the relief wells we ordered drilled that will be the 'final kill-kill.' Probably, in the next 10 to 14 days that will be done, but (it was) an important step last night."

"Our scientists and external scientists believe that the vast majority of the oil has now been contained. It's been skimmed. Mother Nature has done its part. It's evaporated. And so, I think we're turning a corner here," Browner added.

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 4th, 2010
03:34 AM ET

'Static kill' appears to be working on Gulf leak, BP says

A long-awaited procedure to permanently seal BP's crippled well in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be working and is being monitored, the oil giant announced early Wednesday.

The well-killing procedure, which began Tuesday afternoon, involves pumping heavy drilling mud down from above to push oil back into the well reservoir.

"The well pressure is now being controlled by the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling mud, the desired outcome of the static kill procedure," a BP statement said. "The pumping of heavy drilling mud was stopped after about eight hours of pumping drilling mud down the well. The well is now being monitored, per the procedure, to ensure the well remains static."

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 3rd, 2010
11:07 AM ET

Leak fixed on oil well cap; 'static kill' test can begin

A leak on the new cap on the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico has been fixed, paving the way for a test to determine whether the "static kill" operation can be conducted, a BP official said on Tuesday.

The static kill maneuver involves pumping heavy mud into the well through the cap on the well's riser at the ocean floor.

Post by:
Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 2nd, 2010
08:53 PM ET

Gulf well has leaked 4.9 million barrels of oil, scientists say

Scientists charged with determining the flow from the leaking BP well said Monday that roughly 4.9 million barrels of oil have seeped into the Gulf of Mexico,. Previously, the same group had put the total estimate of oil leaked from the well prior to it being capped on July 15 at between 3 million and 5.2 million barrels.

The moment the well was capped, scientists said some 53,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking from the well, while roughly 62,000 barrels of oil were likely seeping per day from the oil well at the start of the spill.

TIMELINE OF OIL SPILL DISASTER

FULL STORY

August 2nd, 2010
04:27 PM ET

Newspulse: Celeb nuptials, oil spill, iPhone 'jailbreak,' Lohan

Here’s a quick glance at the collective consciousness of the Web on Monday:

Putting a ring on it: It was quite the celebrity wedding weekend, with former first daughter Chelsea Clinton marrying longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky in a lavish ceremony in Rhinebeck, New York. (After midnight, late-night munchies stole the show.) Recording artist Alicia Keys married hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz at a private residence overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Atlanta rapper T.I. married longtime fiancée Tiny Cottle in a glitzy soiree in Miami Beach, Florida.

Gulf oil disaster: The spill continued to make news Monday, with the dispersants used by BP coming under increased scrutiny. The Environmental Protection Agency said tests prove that the oil, not the dispersants, remain "the No. 1 enemy." The oil disaster seems to have leaked into the real estate market as well. For many residents, discovery of oil on their land used to mean guaranteed big bucks (Black gold? Texas tea?). But because of the spill, waterfront residents say home sales may be especially cruddy. In fact, the BP oil spill could cost homeowners $68 million in lost property value over the next year, according to a report released Monday.

#jailbreak: The iPhone 4 “jailbreak,” finally legal, is getting a lot of clicks. The hack - available at jailbreakme.com - installs a program that lets iPhone 4 owners and others purchase apps from stores other than Apple's. But be careful! It's still a risky proposition.

Lindsay's out: Speaking of jail, Lindsay Lohan has been released from prison after 13 days in the pokey. It’s on to rehab for the actress and singer.

August 2nd, 2010
03:12 PM ET

EPA: Oil, not dispersants, is 'enemy No. 1'

Testing has found that eight dispersants, including one used in combating the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, are no more toxic when mixed with oil than the oil alone, the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

The tests prove that the oil itself, not the dispersants, is "enemy No. 1," Paul Anastas, EPA assistant administrator for research and development, told reporters on a conference call.
FULL POST

August 2nd, 2010
12:06 PM ET

Testing to precede 'static kill' maneuver in Gulf

One of two efforts to seal the ruptured BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico once and for all is set to take place Tuesday, after a crucial test is conducted Monday to determine whether it will work, BP's senior vice president told reporters.

In the "injectivity" test, a substance called "base oil" will be pumped
into the ruptured well bore to determine if it will go back into the reservoir,
Kent Wells said Monday. The test will start with pumping one barrel per minute, then two, then three. How much is pumped will depend on how the test goes, Wells said.

"We would expect to have the test done in a few hours," he said, and then
the data will be analyzed. The information will tell officials whether
adjustments need to be made on "how and if" the "static kill" procedure will
take place Tuesday, he said.

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 2nd, 2010
10:14 AM ET

On the Radar: Beginning of oil's end?


End of the oil? We might be at the end of a chapter in the long saga of the BP oil spill, which began April 20. Officials say that on Monday night they'll begin the first of two efforts to seal the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico. The "static kill" will happen first, followed five to seven days later by a "bottom kill."  BP's CEO Doug Suttles says he's "confident" these techniques will do the trick, but federal officials caution that nothing is guaranteed.

"We should not be writing any obituary for this event," said Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who heads the government's response to the spill.

U.S. Iraq drawdown - According to a prepared speech President Obama is expected to give in Georgia, U.S. troops in Iraq will be reduced by 50,000 by the end of August. The U.S. military mission in Iraq will switch from combat to a support role in Iraq, including training of Iraqi national security forces, the speech says. Want to see a breakdown of U.S. resources in Iraq?  Read CNN's Security Brief.

The U.S. and Iraq disagree on the level of violence in the war-torn country. While the U.S. military reports that bloodshed has decreased, data Iraq released Saturday indicates that July was the deadliest month for civilians since May 2008. Specifically, Iraq says 396 civilians, 50 Iraqi soldiers and 89 police officers were killed last month.

In July, there were 81,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 87,000 in Afghanistan.

Pakistan disaster - Flooding in Pakistan has killed more than 1,100 people, government officials tell CNN. At least 30,000 people were stuck on rooftops and other higher areas as they tried to escape rushing floodwaters. "We've got the government sending boats and helicopters to try to reach people and bring them to safety at the same time as trying to deliver emergency relief," said Nicki Bennett, a senior humanitarian affairs officer for the U.N.

C'mon, get happy! - After all that seriousness for your Monday morning, how about some good news? Yes, we said good news - or at least several websites that will make you feel better this week. Try a site that compiles happy news, or todaysbigthing.com, which today features a kid who wasn't thrilled with his trip to the zoo.

August 1st, 2010
04:45 PM ET

Allen 'satisfied' with dispersant use in Gulf oil disaster

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is overseeing the federal response to the BP oil spill, said Sunday that he is "satisfied" with the amount of dispersants that have been used to clean up the disaster, saying crews have used them only when needed.

Allen's comments were in response to new documents released by a congressional subcommittee that indicate Coast Guard officials allowed BP to use excessive amounts of chemical dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: Environment • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 1st, 2010
02:23 AM ET

Documents: Dispersants used excessively in Gulf

New documents released by a congressional subcommittee indicate that Coast Guard officials allowed BP to use excessive amounts of chemical dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
July 30th, 2010
12:06 PM ET

Incoming BP chief promises help for Gulf region 'for years'

Incoming BP CEO Bob Dudley sought to reassure jittery Gulf of Mexico residents Friday that the massive British corporation will not abandon them once the ruptured well responsible for the oil disaster has been permanently sealed.

Dudley, currently the company's managing director, stressed during a visit to Mississippi that BP has made a "long-term commitment" to the region.  "We'll be here for years," he said.

The spill has been a "catastrophe" and a "real wake-up call for change," he told reporters.  We have to "treat it as an opportunity to change for the better."

Shortly before Dudley made his remarks, BP announced that it is setting up a $100 million charitable fund to support unemployed oil rig workers experiencing economic hardship due to the deepwater drilling moratorium imposed by the Obama administration. 

The establishment of the Rig Worker Assistance Fund "fulfills the commitment" BP made on June 16 to provide $100 million in assistance "as a gesture of good will for the people of the Gulf region," according to a company statement.

The company also announced that James Lee Witt, director of Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Clinton administration, will be advising Dudley on BP's disaster response efforts.

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
July 30th, 2010
09:53 AM ET

BP to set up $100 million fund for struggling rig workers

Rig workers hold signs at a rally in June protesting the drilling moratorium.

BP announced Friday that it will set up a $100 million charitable fund to support unemployed oil rig workers experiencing economic hardship due to the deepwater drilling moratorium imposed by the Obama administration.

The establishment of the Rig Worker Assistance Fund "fulfills the commitment" BP made on June 16 to provide $100 million in assistance "as a gesture of good will for the people of the Gulf region," according to a company statement.

The fund will be administered by the Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Foundation, a supporting organization of The Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF).

"BRAF has a strong track record of meeting community needs, and we are confident the Foundation will respond effectively to assist the rig workers who today are struggling to make ends meet," BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said in the statement.

Post by:
Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
July 29th, 2010
11:25 AM ET

What lies ahead after oil spill is sealed?

Two weeks after the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico was capped and stopped leaking, the man overseeing the federal response to the disaster will meet New Orleans-area parish presidents to outline plans for after the well is permanently sealed.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen is optimistic that steps planned for the coming days will finally, permanently seal the well.

"The relief well, while it is deep, is something that has been done
before," Allen said. "The technologies involved here are not novel, but
obviously, the depth is a challenge here. But we are optimistic we will get this done."

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
July 28th, 2010
10:40 AM ET

100 days of the BP oil disaster: By the numbers

It's been 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast, resulting in an oil spill that has become the nation's worst environmental disaster. Here's how the numbers stack up so far.

Money

  • BP has spent more than $4 billion on response
  • $256 million paid to claimants
  • 82,567 payments have been made to claimants
  • Amount spent does not include the $20 billion escrow fund for claims, the $100 million going to the unemployed rig workers’ fund, or the $500 million establishing the Gulf Coast Research Institute

Oil

  • An estimated 3 to 5.2 million barrels discharged into the Gulf
  • 827,046 barrels collected or flared
  • 265,450 barrels flared in controlled surface burns
  • 825,525 barrels of oily liquid skimmed
  • 1,072,514 gallons of dispersants used

Deployment

  • 24,800 people
  • 4,300 vessels
  • 800 skimmers
  • 114 aircraft
  • 3.41 million feet of boom deployed

CNN.com interactive of the oil disaster

July 28th, 2010
10:08 AM ET

Incoming BP CEO thinks, but 'can't guarantee,' oil flow has ended

One hundred days after an oil well operated by BP ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico, and 13 days after crews finished capping the
well to contain the previously-gushing crude, the company's incoming Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley says the worst may be over.

"I think - no guarantees - but I believe there will be no more oil flowing into the Gulf as of the 15th of July," Dudley told CNN's "American Morning" on Wednesday.

Dudley, who BP elevated Tuesday to replaced current Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward on October 1, said resolving the crisis is "the single-highest priority for BP going forward."

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
July 27th, 2010
04:12 PM ET

Oil crisis response chief says 'Task before us is very clear'

"The task that's laid out before us is very clear right now," the man in charge of the federal Gulf of Mexico oil crisis response said Tuesday.
FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
July 27th, 2010
09:47 AM ET

Incoming BP chief executive 'sure there will be changes'

The American set to take over BP said Tuesday that in the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, he's "sure there will be changes" in the oil industry.

"There's no question we're going to learn a lot from this accident in the Gulf coast. It's going to be about equipment, people, different companies, and as a result of that, we're going to learn a lot, both BP and the industry," Robert Dudley told reporters outside BP headquarters in London as he emerged alongside BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and outgoing Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward.

The oil giant said earlier Tuesday that Dudley would replace Hayward as chief executive officer, effective October 1.

FULL STORY

Post by:
Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
July 27th, 2010
06:25 AM ET

World update: BP posts massive $17.2 billion loss

An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Tuesday:

BP losses - BP posted a massive quarterly loss of $17.2 billion Tuesday due to costs stemming from the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. BP said it took a pretax charge of $32.2 billion in the quarter related to the oil spill, the worst in U.S. history. That charge includes the $20 billion fund the company agreed to set up in June to cover damages related to the spill.

Serbia extradition - A London court is expected to decide Tuesday whether former Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic should be extradited to Belgrade after spending four months under house arrest in London. He is wanted in Serbia for conspiracy to murder in breach of the Geneva Conventions.

FULL POST

« older posts
newer posts »