In light of the just posted article on this site referencing the ‘death of the Gulf of Mexico’, Feinberg’s comment that 1/2 of the BP will cover all claims is just ludicrous. Feinberg is working for BP to administer the fund, so of course he would say this.
I certainly hope the government doesn’t allow those funds to be returned. It is far too early yet to even think that 20 billion is sufficient to cover all the loses. I am thinking that BP is testing the waters to see if enough time has passed and the incident well enough out of mind to begin their PR campaign to get their dough back!
Feinberg Says Half of $20 Billion Fund May Cover BP Claims
By Jim Snyder and Carol Massar – Dec 31, 2010 1:52 PM MT
Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the $20 billion compensation fund for victims of BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, said he anticipates half that amount will be sufficient to cover claims for economic losses.
The fund, established by BP after negotiations with the Obama administration, also pays clean-up costs. While Feinberg told Bloomberg Television today that it is too early to project how much will go to individuals and businesses, he estimated $10 billion may be enough to compensate victims.
“It remains to be seen, but I would hope that half that money would be more than enough to pay all the claims,” Feinberg said.
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility has paid about $2.7 billion to more than 170,000 claimants, mostly in temporary, emergency payments. The facility has received more than 468,000 claims, according to its website. Feinberg said many claims lacked sufficient documentation to warrant payment.
“We’ll bend over backwards to pay claims,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Geimann at email@example.com
I would start talking this up to your ‘elected official’ before these guys get a head of steam.
Unbelievable that the first words from the new chief of
BP is ‘scaling back’ clean up efforts. What an incredible statement. The oil is still in the Gulf, people’s livelihoods are ruined, contamination everywhere, millions of dead fish, oil on beaches and this guy has the audacity to announce a ‘scale back’.
Scaling back from an already dismal performance is not what is needed here. Full court press to rid us of the contamination of this oil is better put. Of course, the government will most likely do nothing, exactly what it has been doing for months now…with a few exceptions.
BP boss Dudley says oil clean-up will be scaled back
Workers on a beach Workers will be pulled back from clear beaches
Incoming BP chief executive Bob Dudley has said it is time to scale back some parts of the oil spill clean-up in the Gulf of Mexico.
Virtually no oil has been released into the Gulf since a new cap was closed on 15 July.
And skimming crews have reported only tiny quantities of oil out at sea.
But Mr Dudley insisted BP’s commitment to tackling the environmental damage would continue, saying: “We’ll be here for years.”
“You will see the evidence of a pullback because we have boom across the shores all the way from Florida to Louisiana. Those only last for a certain number of tide cycles,” Mr Dudley told reporters in Biloxi, Mississippi.
“And where there is no oil on the beaches you probably don’t need people walking up and down in Hazmat suits. So you’ll probably see that kind of a pullback. But commitment, absolutely no pullback.”
Mr Dudley also provided an update on efforts to permanently seal the well.
The “static kill” procedure is likely to be done on Tuesday. Mud will be pumped into the top of the well.
This procedure will help with the permanent “kill”, using mud and cement, that will be done once a relief well is finished. This will happen by the end of August, Mr Dudley said.
BP has just reported a record $17bn (£11bn) loss, having set aside $32bn to cover the costs of the spill.
On 20 April, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing an oil spill that soon became the worst environmental disaster in US history
For three months, a massive slick has threatened the shores of Louisiana and other southern Gulf Coast states.
Once again, the good of the People are offset by the profits of a Corporation!
I am praying that the leak is stopped now and when it becomes permanent then I celebrate…then I look at the huge clean up required…
We must remember that this is a test to see if the well continues to have integrity, if the pressure rises then drops we have trouble. BP still needs to complete the relief wells and work the ‘bottom kill’ operations to success to be sure this monster is done permanently.
New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) — Pressure was rising Friday as BP continued testing its breached Gulf of Mexico well with no evidence so far that other leaks exist, said BP’s Senior Vice President Kent Wells.
Wells said pressure was up to 6,700 psi (pounds per square inch) inside the well’s capping stack. BP was looking for an optimal 8,000 psi, which would indicate that no oil was being forced out through a leak and that the well was undamaged and able to withstand the pressure of the cap.
The “well integrity test” began Thursday after two days of delays, first as government scientists scrutinized testing procedures and then as BP replaced a leaking piece of equipment known as a choke line.
The oil stopped gushing out Thursday afternoon, the first time BP has been able to gain control since the the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded three months ago and triggered the catastrophe.
A series of cameras below the surface clearly showed the halt — a far different scene from the images day after day of a relentless flow.
The move is being lauded as a positive step, accompanied by a strong note of caution that the cutoff is simply part of the test, as BP and government experts assess how the well is holding up.
Video: How new oil cap works
Video: The leak’s stopped, now what?
Video: BP exec: ‘Too early to celebrate’
Video: Berms good for cleanup?
* Gulf Coast Oil Spill
* Gulf of Mexico
The data are being particularly closely scrutinized at six-hour intervals. Higher pressure readings mean the well is containing the oil, while lower pressure means some is leaking out.
The testing could go on for 48 hours. The longer it goes, the better indications are that the well is holding with the custom-made sealing cap.
BP cautioned that the oil cutoff, while welcomed, isn’t likely to go beyond the 48 hours.
Valves are expected to open after that to resume siphoning oil to two ships on the surface, the Q4000 and Helix Producer, as government and BP officials assess the data and decide what to do next. Two more ships are due to join them in coming weeks, bringing containment capacity to 80,000 barrels of oil a day, more than high-end estimates of how much oil had been leaking.
“It felt very good to see no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico,” Wells said. He said company officials are “obviously very encouraged” but they are “trying to maintain a strict focus” on remembering the whole purpose of the test, which is to gather data and decide how to proceed.
“I don’t want to create a false sense of excitement,” he said. “We want to move forward and make the right decisions.”
And BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said on CNN’s “Situation Room” that while no leaks were apparent, it’s too early to celebrate.
However, that did not stop Gulf residents from being cautiously optimistic.
“I was excited. I was happy about it,” New Orleans resident Michael Jackson, 50, said of reports that the gushing oil well had been capped. “But who’s to say that cap’s going to hold?”
Jamie Munoz echoed his sentiment.
“See the smile? That’s my reaction,” he said. “But it’s cautious optimism. Obviously I’m very happy. It’s [stopping the leak] been our goal for 88 days now. It’s been a long run. But hopefully we get it done right and begin the cleaning. That’s the most important part. Let’s clean up and get our fishermen back to work.”
President Obama said Friday he expects to return to the Gulf of Mexico “in the next several weeks.” But he’s “staying in touch each and every day.”
The decisions on how the address the disaster in the Gulf will continue to be based on science, not public relations or politics, he told reporters at the White House.
“We won’t be done until we actually know that we killed the well and have a permanent solution in place,” he said.
Obama said “BP is going to be paying for the damage that it has caused” in the Gulf, including covering the cost of the environmental cleanup and compensating the people affected.
Retired Adm.Thad Allen, who is overseeing the government’s response to the spill, said in a statement it “remains likely” that sending the oil to containment ships will be the avenue officials decide to pursue after the test, until the ultimate solution is readied — sealing the well by pumping mud and cement through one of two relief wells being drilled.
The wells are expected to be completed in August. The second one serves as a backup to the first. In some earlier briefings, Allen had mentioned the possibility of leaving the cap closed, after the test.
Allen said experts also will examine options for shutting off the well again temporarily, if there’s a hurricane.
I just hope that our focus, as a Nation of People, remains on the clean up efforts in the Gulf. This is a massive undertaking and there is still 87 days of oil out there that can come onto our beaches and wreak havoc on the ocean, reefs, marine and bird life.
In more good news from the Gulf, they are finding oil as much as 2 feet below the surface of the sand….WOW! This is not a good development. It will make any clean up efforts, assuming that we ever see such a thing, much harder and more expensive.
This spill will go down in history as the worst man made catastrophe EVER!
Oil Found in Gulf Beach Sand, Even After Cleanups
Long-lasting, hidden oil from the Gulf spill poses risk, experts say.
Published July 2, 2010
Digging under the patchily oil-splattered white sands of Pensacola Beach, Florida (map), on Thursday, it didn’t take long for scientists to strike black gold.
Oil patties and tarballs were discovered as deep as 2 feet (0.6 meter) beneath beaches dirtied by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill—the deepest oil yet found by a team of University of South Florida coastal geologists that’s been studying the effects of the oil spill on Gulf beaches since early May. The previous record had been 6 inches (about 15 centimeters) deep, said geologist Ping Wang, the team’s leader.
The discoveries suggest that toxic oil lies hidden under even “clean” patches of beaches along the U.S. Gulf Coast—and that oil-spill cleanup crews are only scratching the surface.
Because the buried oil is both harder to clean and slower to break down, it could be a long-lasting threat to beachgoers, both animal and human, experts say.
This “weathered” oil—mainly tarballs and tar mats—began washing ashore around June 23 in Pensacola. (See pictures of Gulf oil atop Pensacola Beach.)
Waves buried much of the oil under new layers of sand, particularly this week, when Hurricane Alex spawned rough seas around the Gulf. (See “Hurricane Alex Pushes ‘Worst Oil’ Ashore; Cleanup Slowed.”)
“This time, we were lucky,” said Wang, kneeling by a freshly dug hole striped with ribbons of black tar on Pensacola Beach, which remains open to beachgoers and swimmers, though a health advisory warns visitors away from any obvious oil.
Hurricane Alex’s path was hundreds of miles to the east, so the storm’s surges had been relatively small along Florida’s Gulf coast.
As a result, the storm pushed only a thin amount of new oil onto Pensacola Beach and the nearby Gulf Islands National Seashore, which includes sites in both Florida and Mississippi. The preserve also remains open and under a health advisory. (See Gulf of Mexico map.)
(Gulf Oil Spill Pictures: Oil, Tarballs Hit Beaches.)
Yet when a bigger and closer storm powers through the Gulf, it could erode beaches and unleash the oil underneath, he said—while at the same time pushing ashore more oil from the Gulf spill, Wang noted. (See “Hurricane Could Push Spilled Gulf Oil Into New Orleans.”)
Wang would know: He’s studied 2004′s Hurricane Ivan and 2005′s Hurricane Dennis, both of which totally flooded Pensacola Beach.
Exposed oil, though, may be the least of the worries.
Even without cleanup crews, surface oil disappears fairly quickly as oxygen, sunlight, and oil-eating microbes break it down. Buried oil persists much longer, particularly deep down, where oxygen is in short supply.
What Lies Beneath: Oil Inches Below Beaches
“If [oil's] buried and you have a five-year-old out here next summer building a sand castle and they uncover a layer of tar and oil, that’s not going to be good,” said Tiffany Roberts, a Ph.D. student working in Wang’s lab.
Contact with oil can cause skin irritation, and inhaling evaporated oil particles may cause nausea, headache, and dizziness—ailments already reported by some Gulf oil spill cleanup workers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
That’s why Roberts and colleagues are studying how oil is distributed atop the beach—in hopes of discerning a surface pattern that could be used predict the locations of buried oil, she said.
Right now cleanup crews are “dealing with the immediate,” she said. Eventually “we’ve got to figure out what’s below.”
Like a New Oil Spill With Every Storm
It’s easy for cleanup crews to be deceived by invisible oil, according to Michel Boufadel, who has studied the lingering oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska. (Exxon Valdez Pictures: 20 Years on, Spilled Oil Remains.)
For example, in 1992 crews packed up and left the Valdez site without realizing that vast quantities of oil still sat below the surface—and much of that oil remains underground today, said Boufadel, chair of Temple University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Ambler, Pennsylvania.
“You can go to a beach and say the beach is clean,” he said, “and then a year later a storm hits and you find out that the beach is still polluted.”
It’s like “getting a new spill” with every storm, Boufadel added.
Unlike the frigid Alaska coastline, however, Florida’s beaches are hot and sunny—conditions that may evaporate exposed oil more quickly.
Wildlife Impacts are “Uncharted Territory”
If the spilled oil under Gulf beaches stays buried, it could harm wildlife that nest and feed along the coast, experts say. For instance, some shorebirds eat only small sand-dwelling invertebrates, such as bloodworms, which could be killed by the oil.
(Gulf Oil Spill Pictures: Birds, Fish, Crabs Coated.)
“If the oil does get into the surf zone and [poisons] invertebrates that these guys are eating, then the food base is gone,” said Riley Hoggard, a resource-management specialist for Gulf Islands National Seashore. “It’s going to be tough for some of these shorebirds.”
(Related: “Oil-Coated Birds Better off Dead?”)
Likewise, four species of Gulf sea turtle hatchlings—which crawl through sand layers to leave their underground nests—could get injured or killed through contact with buried oil on their way out to sea, Hoggard said.
In part to address such threats, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently began arranging the relocation of some 70,000 turtle eggs from 700 Gulf Coast nests. After the babies hatch in a special facility in a warehouse at eastern Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, they will be released on several Atlantic Ocean beaches—on the other side of the state from the Gulf.
The turtles’ internal magnetic “maps”—apparently “tuned” to Gulf beaches during incubation—should point the animals back to their native Gulf waters, even with the entire Florida Peninsula in their way, Hoggard said.
Hoggard admits the massive sea turtle rescue operation is “uncharted territory,” and could fail. But “we can’t afford to lose a generation of them,” he said. “That’s what gnaws at your stomach.”
I sure hope that the folks that live on the coast are prepared to keep their physical and mental bodies extremely healthy. It will become harder to do as time goes on. We are recommending EnerFood, the Detox, lung and lymph tinctures.
BP continues to spray Corexit in the Gulf in quantities that have, on average, not changed since this debacle began. There is no science to say that this stuff will not do more harm to the natural habitat and creatures than good.
I feel these robbers just want to make the oil go to the bottom of the ocean so that no one will ever know exactly the extent of the damage. This might prevent some liability and payments from happening in the future. Good ole corporate interests still rule the day!
This is a disaster of unprecedented proportions and the clean up response has been nothing short of a joke. Bumbling idiots is the descriptive phrase that comes to mind.
Dispersants flow into Gulf in ‘science experiment’
By Ed Lavandera, CNN
July 2, 2010 1:20 p.m. EDT
New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) — Chemical dispersants keep flowing into the Gulf of Mexico at virtually unchanged levels despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s order to BP to “significantly” scale back, according to a CNN analysis of daily dispersant reports provided by the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command.
When the May 26 directive was issued, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said dispersant use should be cut by 75 percent.
Public statements at the time made by the EPA administrator gave the impression that federal officials were trying to cut down overall dispersant use.
“We expect to see a substantial reduction in the overall amount of dispersant used,” Jackson said in May.
Before May 26, BP used 25,689 gallons a day of the chemical dispersant Corexit. Since then, CNN’s analysis shows, the daily average of dispersant use has dropped to 23,250 gallons a day, a 9 percent decline.
Gulf Coast environmentalists say it’s another sign that the federal agencies monitoring dispersant use are not being tough enough with BP.
“I think the EPA has been struggling to respond to this crisis,” said Aaron Viles with the Gulf Restoration Network. “It’s all really a giant science experiment and we’re terribly concerned that in the long run the impacts are going to be significant and we really don’t know what we’re doing to the ecosystem.”
But the EPA argues it deserves credit for getting alarming dispersant use under control. The directive states that BP must ramp down dispersant use by “75 percent from the maximum daily amount used.”
And that’s the catch. The highest recorded amount of dispersant used occurred on May 23, when 70,000 gallons were injected into the Gulf of Mexico. EPA officials say they feared that number would have become the norm and that’s why, they say, the directive was issued.
“This escalation was quickly reversed, ensuring BP only uses the lowest volume of dispersant needed,” said Adora Andy, a spokeswoman for the EPA.
But even by the EPA’s own standards, BP still routinely exceeds the daily threshold. The EPA and Coast Guard say they’re trying to keep dispersant use to around 18,000 barrels a day.
But according to CNN’s analysis, BP has gone over that amount 50 percent of the time since the May 26 directive was issued. To do so, BP must request permission from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard officials say dispersant use is “evaluated daily” and that it’s using the “safest and most effective methods available” to protect the sea environment.
“The EPA-Coast Guard directive has been successful in ensuring that BP uses the lowest volume of dispersant necessary,” U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Erik Halvorson, a spokesman with the Unified Area Command.
The EPA continues testing the chemical dispersant Corexit 9500, which has been used by BP since the beginning of the oil disaster. So far more than 1.6 million gallons of the chemical have been injected into the Gulf of Mexico.
But the struggle over daily dispersant use has caught the eye of Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, one of the loudest critics of BP’s response in cleaning up the oil spill.
“I think it is obvious we can never again allow for a repetition of what is happening right now, where the science experiment is being conducted without having any idea what the impact on marine life long term will be,” said Markey.
The amount of dispersents used has only decreased 9% on average way short of the 75% decrease ordered by the Coast Guard…oh yeah that was based on the maximum levels used which as it turns out-coincidentally-occurred the day before the Coast Guard order…BP sprayed 70,000 gallons….how about that for timing eh?
I have been saying this for several weeks now. The Feds have no offensive plan to aggressively deal with the consequences of the Deepwater Horizon Oil disaster. It will be up to each community along the coastline to defend their beaches.
If they wait, playing the bureaucratic game, they will loose this fight and the catastrophe will last much longer that anyone is willing or able to admit.
Heartening news from the ‘hinterlands’ of freedom!
Okaloosa defies Unified Command over East Pass plans
June 15, 2010 4:40 PM
DESTIN — Okaloosa County isn’t taking oil spill orders any more.
County commissioners voted unanimously to give their emergency management team the power to take whatever action it deems necessary to prevent oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill from entering Choctawhatchee Bay through the East Pass.
That means the team, led by Public Safety Director Dino Villani, can take whatever action it sees fit to protect the pass without having its plans approved by state or federal authorities.
Commission chairman Wayne Harris said he and his fellow commissioners made their unanimous decision knowing full well they could be prosecuted for it.
“We made the decision legislatively to break the laws if necessary. We will do whatever it takes to protect our county’s waterways and we’re prepared to go to jail to do it,” he said.
That freed Villani to take several actions deemed important to further armor the Destin pass without waiting for authorization from the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee and the unified spill command in Mobile.
Commissioners gave him the go-ahead to spend $200,000 to pay for an underwater “air curtain” designed to push oil up where it can be collected and $16,500 a day to operate and maintain it.
He has authority to, without a nod from the U.S. Coast Guard, deploy barges, weighted so that they’ll sit low in the water across the entrance to the pass.
He is also authorized to look into a slip curtain, another underwater oil-catching device.
Though they now have the authority, both Villani and Okaloosa County Administrator Jim Curry said they will continue to work with the state and federal authorities to get their plans approved.
Curry said what the commissioners did Monday was “send a loud and clear message” to the Coast Guard, the state Department of Environmental Protection and others that Okaloosa County’s permit requests should be acted on immediately.
The commission met in an emergency meeting alongside the Destin City Council. The two governing bodies confronted a full room of obviously frustrated people, many of whom advocated filling in the entrance of the pass to close it down completely.
It was agreed that filling in the pass was a bad idea that could have serious environmental impacts.
Jay Prothro, BP’s representative for Okaloosa County, and two representatives of the Coast Guard were also present.
While Martha LaGuardia, a commander with the Coast Guard, argued that moving ideas and plans through the chain of command was the proper way to do things, Harris made it known the County Commission was tired of the often tedious and sometimes unproductive bureaucracy.
“We’ve played the game. We’re done playing the game,” he said.
We all need to think about what our actions can be in this crisis!
I find this bit of news from MAY 11, 2010 to be a bit disturbing considering that it is a month old and most people are TOTALLY UNAWARE OF THE unforeseen and unintended consequences of this catastrophe…not to mention the fact that this is the single largest health threat to the citizens of this country. THIS INFO is from a ‘mainstream’ news outlet. WHY ISN’T THERE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AIR QUALITY?
I just pulled this report off CNN from an eyewitness who visited Grand Isle after BP had hundreds or workers show up for Obama’s visit there last week. These workers were supposed to show back up the next day right?
I have been putting off uploading this iReport because I am so angry and have been since my visit to Grand Isle again yesterday. Where are the hundreds of BP workers that were flown in when the President made his flyover weeks ago? Haven’t been back… Since the spill I have been to Grand Isle five times and talked to a lot of the “locals” each time. I can’t begin to tell you how sickened these residents are. Both men and women, of all ages, got choked up when they spoke of what they see day after day. Here are a few of the things I saw on my trip.
I left New Orleans at 5:00AM since BP claimed that due to the heat his workers start early. I wanted to be down there by 7:00AM. (I drive fast) When I arrived at the Grand Isle State Park, I was informed that BP has now made the fishing pier parking lot their new “beach cleaning staging area” and the pier was closed. I paid my dollar and went in anyway. There are now tents with tables under them and other facilities in the pier parking lot. I parked in the grass and walked through the lot anyway without being stopped by anyone. There were maybe ten people walking and/or sitting around. When I got on the pier, I saw a few other people out there as well. They were looking and talking about the sheen in the water. There was a lot of sheen and it was coming ashore with the tides. There were also thicker dispersed oil droplets washing up on the sand. I turned at that point to check out the beach workers. I included a photo in both directions on the pier. See for yourself… How many people are working on this beach?
To give BP the benefit of the doubt, I thought there could be other staging areas farther down the beach. So I left the park and drove back along the island (there’s only one main road). I did not see any other staging areas. I stopped and went on the beach. The Tiger Dam (two large booms filled with water laying side by side in the sand) construction was completed and you are allowed on the beach up to the dam. The dam keeps the oil from going farther onto the beach in high tides. I was not surprised at what I saw. There weren’t any staging areas because there was no one out there. I included photos of the conditions on the beach… See for yourself and form your own opinion. Why isn’t anyone doing anything about these deplorable and TOXIC conditions. I went past the tiger dam to take my photos. To let you know how many people were on the beach, I walked about a quarter mile. I was stopping and taking photos at least twenty minutes before three security workers came and waved at me to come back on the other side of the boom. They were nice and checked my shoes for oil…
But where are the people Hayward promises over and over in his public relations campaign ad would be out here?
I left the beach and talked to some locals. One of them agreed to take me out in his boat to see the conditions in Barataria Bay area. I also knew that wildlife and fisheries are concentrating all of their efforts to rescuing oiled birds. We made a complete circle through the bay and around the gulf side of the island. There were also streams of dispersed oil floating atop the water maybe fifty yards from shore. I looked around and there were only three boats in the water. Two of them were skimming oil from atop the water with the boom stretched between the two boats. But that’s it… The only other boats were commercial and had nothing to do with clean up. The gentleman I was with got on his radio and called the people on the skimmers. He knows them because they are fishermen using their shrimp boats. They informed him they had oil…
We went into the Gulf along the beach side of the island and travelled to some smaller islands. The first one was Grand Terre and is just a couple miles from Grand Isle beach. Grand Terre used to be Fort Livingston and the crumbling fort still remains. As we reached Grand Terre we started seeing more oil. We saw the rusty colored dispersed oil but this was BLACK OIL rolling with the calm waters inland towards the bay area. We reached Fort Livingston and the oil was everywhere. The Captain got back on his radio and called the skimmer boats to tell them black oil was rolling in at Grand Terre. He was clearly upset. We left the area and headed right into the bay to Grand Bess, the famous bird island. There were at most three boats in the bay area. They were just riding around but they could have been looking for oiled birds??? There was dark red and black oil in the waters of the bay. When I looked for the first time at Grand Bess I was shocked. The outer booms had come apart in two different places and in another area, the boom was sinking. The inner soaker boom was totally saturated in oil and needed to be changed. The saturated booms were on the rocks where pelicans were sitting, floating haphazardly or sinking, twisted around, and laying over the outer boom. I looked around me and thought again… Where are the people BP has hired to oversee and maintain this boom? Where are the people they hired because, as far as I could see in every direction, there were at most five boats in the entire bay. No one was working on boom so this island was going to remain unprotected the entire night with black oil already floating near the outer boom. As we rode around the island I saw some oiled birds and it tore me up inside to feel so helpless. I also noticed there weren’t near as many birds on the island as there were less than a month ago. I saw some babies still with their mothers and wondered if they would survive. I began to wipe the tears from my eyes as I photographed the oiled pelicans. The Captain kept repeating, “Don’t worry, I won’t cry in front of you”. After we circled the island, we headed back in.
After personally struggling through the Katrina aftermath, I know how hard it still is five years Post K. To then go through this, I cannot fathom the depth and breadth of the emotions these residents feel. I am still so angry today and they are there watching this every day. One resident told me he quit watching TV because of the Tony Hayward commercials. Every time he saw one he wanted to smash or throw something at the TV.
There doesn’t seem to be a strong chain of command overseeing and holding Tony Hayward accountable when it comes to the day to day clean-up. Someone should have reported the boom and it should have been changed and properly placed around the island. This is an example of how unprepared BP will be when the tides change and bring the oil back in, which is already happening. But why am I surprised? They haven’t been prepared for anything for 51 days now.
So… either Tony Hayward is a sociopathic liar and could care less about the people of the Gulf Coast, or he has deceived himself into believing people are out here working every day. I don’t know… You make the call. I am just reporting what I saw this day.
Well if this is true it is just one more instance of BP’s lack of respect for us and their continued resistance to ethical behavior. Once again they are showing us all that they are only acting to protect what is left of shareholder value.
As the oil spill continues to grow there is not a lot of information on the ‘plumes’ that are growing larger under the surface. Many speculate that the cause of these plumes has been the use of the chemical dispersents that are highly toxic. They break up the oil into smaller particles that are suspended below the surface and move with ocean currents.
There are many ideas out there on how to deal with the oil already out of the well and on the surface of the ocean. Why are these technologies, most of which are non toxic and effective, not being used? I suspect that between the government bureaucrats and the BP bureaucrats that most of these are never seeing the light of day.
I hope that more people and communities will act on their own if able. This is the only way anything will ever get done.
Killer Undersea Oil Plumes From BP Spill Lurk in Gulf of Mexico
By Jessica Resnick-Ault – Jun 8, 2010
Undersea Oil Plumes from Spill Lurk in Gulf of Mexico
Tests confirm the existence of oil plumes in the Gulf which BP CEO Tony Hayward has disputed. Photographer: Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg
Undersea clouds of oil that kill marine life have spread for miles in the Gulf of Mexico from BP Plc’s leaking Macondo well, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today.
Water samples collected by the R/V Weatherbird II vessel have confirmed biodegraded crude oil in two undersea layers as far as 40 nautical miles northeast of BP’s seabed leak, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco said at a press briefing. The vessel’s samples show oil as deep as 3,300 feet in the water, Lubchenco said.
“The bottom line is that yes, there is oil in the water column, it’s at very low concentrations, and we will continue to release those data as soon as they are available,” Lubchenco said at a press conference held jointly with Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. “That doesn’t mean that it does not have significant impact.”
Researchers have said the oil slick washing ashore is a small portion of what has leaked and the undersea crude can wipe out marine life while remaining invisible from the surface. Lubchenco said not enough data is available to determine the quantity of oil below the surface. However, she said oil was found at volumes of 0.5 parts per million in the cloud to the northeast of the leak.
The tests are the second confirmation of the existence of oil plumes in the Gulf, which BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward has disputed. Research by Samantha Joye at the University of Georgia, and analyzed at Texas A&M University, also confirmed the presence of undersea oil.
Hayward said June 6 that there was “no evidence” of the plumes in the Gulf of Mexico. The company is waiting for confirmation from NOAA and the Environmental Protection Agency, Robert Wine, a BP spokesman in Houston, said in a telephone interview yesterday.
NOAA and the University of South Florida held a joint press conference this afternoon with more information on the undersea oil. NOAA Chief Science Advisor Steve Murawski said the oil is not in continuous plumes, but is broken up in cloud-like patterns.
Ernst Peebles, a University of South Florida professor who was aboard the Weatherbird, said oil was found in the water across 22 nautical miles of sampling area. While the oil was ‘invisible’ to the naked eye, it was detectible with analysis, he said.
The university’s scientists found oil in two layers of the ocean at 400 meters and 1,000 meters. They tracked the plumes for tens of kilometers, starting 35 kilometers north-northeast of the well, said Vickie Chachere, a university spokeswoman.
BP didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment on NOAA’s confirmation of the new data.
The concentrations at more shallow depths were identified as having come from BP’s leaking well, Lubchenco said. The scientists were not able to find conclusive evidence that the deeper concentrations came from the well, she said. Water samples taken 142 nautical miles to the southeast of the well were not consistent with the spill, she said.
“These are huge volumes of oil, many kilometers of oil, and to have oil in many cubic kilometers of water suggests a very significant total amount,” said Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University in Tallahassee, who is doing separate research on the spill.
MacDonald estimates the well is leaking 26,500 barrels to 30,000 barrels a day, six times more than the figure that BP and the government used from April 28 to May 27. The company has captured 14,842 barrels in the last 24 hours, Allen said today.
Additional data will allow researchers to produce images of slices of the ocean similar to those produced by magnetic resonance imaging machines used by doctors. The data will allow the scientists to determine crude concentrations in the different slices, Lubchenco said. The NOAA vessel Gordon Gunter has returned to shore and is analyzing its findings. A second research ship, the Thomas Jefferson, is collecting additional samples, she said.
Hayward said June 6 oil naturally floats in water, and that crude seen deep in the water was in the process of making its way to the surface, according to reports in the Associated Press.
Scientists maintain that oil could have become trapped in the water due to the company’s unprecedented application of chemical dispersants, natural phenomenon, or a combination of the two.
BP has applied more than a million gallons of dispersant to the spill, and has almost another half-million gallons on hand to apply if needed, according to a statement from the Unified Command made up of BP and U.S. Coast Guard officials. The dispersants have been applied to oil at the surface, as well as to crude gushing out of the well on the sea floor.
The dispersants may have caused the crude oil to sink more than it normally would have.
“There would be a threshold where putting dispersant in the oil would modify the viscosity,” said Nicholas Wienders, a professor in the oceanography department at Florida State University. If the viscosity of the oil was changed, it could react differently to the ocean’s circulation, and behave in ways not normally expected, he said.
Natural density differences in water layers could also have trapped the oil, said Nancy Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
The pressure being applied to crude surging out of the well may also change its dispersion, said MacDonald of Florida State University.
As the oil is forced out of the broken pipe at hundreds of miles an hour, it hits the relatively lower-pressure area near the sea floor that breaks the oil into particles about the thickness of a human hair, MacDonald said. Their small size, exposure to significant pressure, and cold temperatures near the sea floor may all contribute to oil sinking, he said.
‘Derelict’ in Duty
“There is no scientific doubt about the processes that would form mid-water plumes,” he said. BP and the Coast Guard haven’t gauged the pressure of the leaking oil, making it more difficult for scientists to predict and track plumes, said MacDonald. “It’s another example of both BP and the government being derelict in their duty,” he said.
Captain Brent “Hollywood” Shaver, 59, who operates a charter fishing boat in Florida and Alabama waters, laughed when asked about BP’s comment that there aren’t underwater oil plumes.
“They’re crazy,” he said in a June 7 interview. “You know, when you spill diesel fuel in the water they always tell you not to put dish soap on it because it just makes it sink. That’s what is happening here. It’s sinking.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
The efforts to contain and clean up this mess must get into high gear. There are tons of willing people buy no coordination.
Just look at the wording in this MSM headline and further in the article…we are under SIEGE from this oil slick and the person on the trigger was British Petroleum. Our government needs to act quickly to freeze all the assets they can of BP and it’s subsidiaries. Complex it is but necessary also. We will not get cooperation from an adversary…it is not what they want to do, nor is it their stated mission.
There are plenty of out of work folks willing and able to run a new company for the benefit of the citizens of this country.
BP Increases Oil-Capture Rate; U.S. Braces for Siege (Update5)
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By Aaron Clark and Edward Klump
June 6 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc said it is capturing more of the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from its damaged well as U.S. officials said they expect the battle against pollution from the disaster to continue for months.
“This is a siege across the entire Gulf,” U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” broadcast today. “There will be oil out there for months to come. This will be well into the fall.”
BP said it captured 10,500 barrels of oil from its leaking well yesterday, up from 6,077 barrels in the previous 24-hour ending at midnight June 4. The well was estimated by government scientists to be gushing 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day. The spill is the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
A “cap” over the well is capturing “probably the vast majority” of the leaking oil, Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward told the British Broadcasting Corp. today in an interview in London. BP is preparing a second system to capture even more oil that will be implemented within the week, he said. BP plans to swap out those temporary systems with one that is more hurricane-proof by the end of the month.
The well began gushing oil after the Deepwater Horizon rig BP leased from Transocean Ltd. exploded on April 20 and sank two days later, resulting in the deaths of 11 workers. The leak is 40 miles (64 kilometers) off Louisiana’s coast under about 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) of water.
Gulf winds are moving the oil now in the water closer to the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, according to Allen. He said oil in tar balls and patties is affecting areas from western Mississippi to Pensacola, Florida.
The spill, which has cost BP more than $1 billion, has soiled about 140 miles of shoreline in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, along with some 80 miles in Florida, the Coast Guard said yesterday.
Oil that washed ashore on beaches in Florida’s northwest Panhandle region was quickly removed, and crews are attacking tar balls that are left on the sand, Florida Governor Charlie Crist said on CNN’s “State of the Union” broadcast. A cleanup command post has been set up in Pensacola, he said.
More oil is expected to arrive in northwest Florida within the next three days, according to a statement today from the Florida Deepwater Horizon Response team, which cited National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said state beaches remained clear of tar balls or other deposits, though he fears tourists will still stay away because they think the coast from Florida to Texas is “ankle-deep in oil.”
Both Crist and Allen faulted BP for taking too long to compensate businesses and workers for losses tied to the oil.
“We want these claims to be responded to much more quickly,” said Crist said on CNN. “These people need help. And we have to be there to try to make them as whole as we can during this very difficult process.”
President Barack Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling, which has idled 33 deepwater rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, will cost as many as 6,000 jobs this month and 20,000 by the end of next year, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in a letter to Obama on June 2.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour today endorsed the call by Jindal to resume offshore drilling in the Gulf, which produces 30 percent of all U.S. oil and gas. If not, rigs in the region will be moved to oil fields overseas, further delaying the resumption of drilling in the Gulf, he said.
Obama said communities along the Gulf Coast suffering because of the oil spill will be “made whole” with payments from BP and government aid. In his weekly address on the radio and Internet, which was taped June 4 in Grand Isle, Louisiana, Obama said livelihoods that have spanned generations are in danger of being lost.
BP has paid about half of the 35,000 claims submitted by Gulf residents and companies for income lost because of the spill, Darryl Willis, vice president of resources at BP America, said yesterday on a conference call. BP is awaiting documentation before it can pay the remaining claims, he said. Willis said the company’s spending on claims through June may top $84 million.
BP said it will continue to try increasing the amount of oil it is capturing with its latest containment system.
“I’d like to see us capture 90-plus percent of this flow,” Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, said June 4 on CBS’s “Early Show.” “That’s possible with this design.”
The oil is funneled to a drillship at the surface that can capture and separate as much as 15,000 barrels of oil, gas and water a day, Kent Wells, a BP senior vice president, said in a conference call with reporters last week.
Jagged edges left when the pipe was cut for the containment cap may prevent a tight seal and allow some oil to continue leaking, Allen said. Government scientists expected the cut, which removed a kink in the pipe, to increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent.
“History has taught us to be cautiously optimistic, not overly optimistic,” Dan Pickering, an analyst at investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. in Houston, said. Capturing 90 percent of the flow would be a “huge home run,” he said.
Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, isn’t considering selling its 1.75 percent stake in BP and believes there is no threat to the company’s future as a result of the spill, the Al-Rai newspaper reported today.
Hayward told investors June 4 on a conference call the spill has the “first call” on the company’s funds and financial consequences of the spill will be “severe.”
Allen said relief-well operations to stop the leak permanently will involve pumping mud to reduce pressure and placing a cement plug. He said this effort will be the “bottom kill exercise.”
“In the long term, the threat from this well will not go away until the relief well has been drilled, pressure has been taken off and the well has been plugged,” Allen said. “In the meantime, we need to optimize our containment efforts.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Klump in Houston at email@example.com; Aaron Clark in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: June 6, 2010 17:02 EDT
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