Deepwater Horizon Spill Report Blames BP, Contractors, Government
WASHINGTON, DC, November 17, 2010 (ENS) – Lack of a systematic approach to well safety, numerous flawed decisions, plus technical and operational breakdowns all contributed to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and massive spill from BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, says a scientific committee of the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council in a report released today.
“Important decisions made to proceed toward well abandonment despite several indications of potential hazard suggest an insufficient consideration of risks,” said Donald Winter, former secretary of the Navy, professor of engineering practice at the University of Michigan, and chair of the 15-member study committee.
“It’s also important to note that these flawed decisions were not identified or corrected by BP and its service contractors, or by the oversight process employed by the U.S. Minerals Management Service and other regulatory agencies,” said Winter.
The committee was convened at the request of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to conduct an independent and science-based investigation into the root causes of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that amounted to 4.9 million barrels before the well was capped on July 19. The oil spread across a vast expanse of the gulf, causing widespread fisheries closures and fouling hundreds of miles of shoreline and wetlands. Read more
Scenes from the BP Oil Disaster: A Photo-Video Perspective
Saturday, October 23 at 5 pm
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton
Visitor Center, FREE Lecture. 5-6:30 pm
Wildlife Photographer-Videographer Shawn Carey
See footage and hear first-and accounts from Shawn Carey’s personal investigative trips to document the largest oil disaster in U.S. history. Shawn Carey’s frank presentation is focused on sharing with the public exactly what he witnessed through an impressive array of visuals, including photos and video of two of the largest Brown Pelican colonies in Louisiana, the oil-soaked shoreline on many of the small islands in the bay, and the state of the clean-up efforts. Joining Shawn will be Drew Wheelan, the Gulf Coast Conservation Coordinator for American Birding Association, who help lead the wrap-up Q&A.
Part of the annual Hawk Mountain Autumn Lecture Series, this talk is free and open to the public. Please note that seating is limited and interested participants should plan to arrive well in advance. A limited number of reserved seats will be held for those who call the Sanctuary before October 20 and can arrive by 4:30 on the day of the lecture. To reserve a seat or for more information, please call 610-756-6961 or visit www.hawkmountain.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 610-756-6961
Seating is Limited—Plan to Arrive Early
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
1700 Hawk Mountain Road
Kempton, PA 19529
CONTACT: Mary Linkevich
Communication & Grants Manager
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA 19529
Sep 18, 2010
Cement flows for permanent plug of BP’s Gulf well
By HARRY R. WEBER
Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Crews pumped cement into BP’s blown-out oil well thousands of feet below the sea bottom Saturday, working to finally seal the runaway well.
Engineers initially had planned to pump in mud before the cement, but a BP spokesman said that wasn’t necessary because there was no pressure building inside the well.
BP expects the well will be completely sealed – and declared permanently dead – sometime Saturday, five months after the catastrophe began April 20, when an explosion killed 11 workers, sank a drilling rig and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
The cement couldn’t be pumped in until a relief well drill nearly 2.5 miles beneath the floor of the Gulf intersected the blown-out well, which happened Thursday.
The relief well was the 41st successful drilling attempt by John Wright, a contractor who led the team drilling the relief well aboard the Development Driller III vessel. Wright, who has never missed his target, told The Associated Press in August that he was looking forward to finishing the well and celebrating with a cigar and a quiet getaway with his wife.
“I am ready for that cigar now,” Wright said in an e-mail Friday to the AP from aboard the DDIII.
The Gulf well spewed 206 million gallons of oil until the gusher was first stopped in mid-July with a temporary cap. Mud and cement were later pushed down through the top of the well, allowing the cap to be removed. But officials will not declare it dead until it is sealed from the bottom.
BP PLC is a majority owner of the well and was leasing the rig from owner Transocean Ltd.
The oil spill was an environmental and economic nightmare for people along the Gulf Coast that has spawned civil and criminal investigations. It cost gaffe-prone BP chief Tony Hayward his job and brought increased governmental scrutiny of the oil and gas industry, including a costly moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling that is still in place.
With oil still in the water – some of it still washing ashore – people continue to struggle. Fishermen are still fighting the perception their catch is tainted, and tourism also has taken a hit.
Scientists Warn Oil Spill Could Threaten Florida
Amount of Spill Could Escalate, Company Admits
By JOHN M. BRODER, CAMPBELL ROBERTSON and CLIFFORD KRAUSS
Published: May 4, 2010
A senior BP executive said the crippled oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico could spill as many as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow.
Published: May 1, 2010
Tracking the Oil Spill
The map sequence shows how the oil spill has been spreading in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U.S. Coast Guard