Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disator Update

the good folks at NRDC.

This morning’s summary

Is the well already dead?
We may finally and abruptly be at the end of the effort to plug the renegade well in the Gulf of Mexico. In the strongest indication yet that BP’s broken oil well may be plugged for good, officials on Thursday said they’re conducting tests to determine if further work to seal the well is needed. And that means the ‘static kill’ may have been sufficient and there is no need a so-called “bottom kill,” in which mud and cement are pumped from deep underground to permanently seal the well. National Incident coordinator Thad Allen scheduled a news conference for 12:45 pm cdt Friday for an update on the well. He has said that an earlier effort to temporarily plug the well may have had the unintended effect of creating a permanent seal. We may know by Friday afternoon if officials consider the well safely plugged. There’s a lot of ‘if’s’ in this equation. The good news is that no new oil has leaked into the Gulf since July 15.

Quotable Quote
“We may be the victims of our own success here. If the cement is already there it would obviate the need to do the bottom kill.” Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen

And this:
“I think there is the perception and the reality that we have been heavily reliant on the domestic oil and gas industry in setting standards,” Michael Bromwich, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

National News

AP: Allen schedules news conference; Is the well dead?
National Incident coordinator Thad Allen has scheduled a news conference in Schriever, La., for 12:45 p.m. CDT to give an update on the Gulf oil well operation.

Read more:

Times Picayune: BP may have already killed Gulf well
BP may have inadvertently killed the broken Gulf well with the static kill maneuver and may not need the bottom kill.

Read more from Jacquetta White

Also see

Los Angeles Times: Pressure tests underway to determine if BP’s broken well in Gulf of Mexico is already plugged,0,2638628.story

Wall Street Journal: MMS relied too much on industry
The U.S. Interior Department’s new offshore-drilling chief Michael Bromwitch on Thursday conceded that the agency had relied too much on the oil and gas industry it was supposed to police, setting the stage for a regulatory revamp following the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Read more from Siobhan Hughes


New York Times: How long to pass an oil spill bill? Try 18 months
Democratic leaders and activists hope that differences on oil spill legislation will be resolved in September. But there are major obstacles to overcome. Some Democrats from oil-producing states have sided with Republicans in opposing the current bill that would lift the current $75 million limit on liability for damages in an oil spill. There is also disagreement over the drilling moratorium.

Read more from Anne C. Mulkern

Huffington Post: Obama’s beach will be clean, but oil lies beneath the sand
The Obamas will be staying on the Gulf coast to boost tourism there, but their experience won’t be the same as that of other visitors. Panama City, where they are vacationing, was spared the worst of oil spill. 80 miles to the west, from Pensacola Beach and on to Alabama, the beaches were hit a lot worse. And they remain contaminated.

Read more from Dan Froomkin Obamas to join oil spill discussion during weekend trip
While in Florida this weekend, the President and First Lady will join area small business owners, elected officials and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus for a roundtable discussion of the gulf oil spill recovery.

Read more

American City & County: County task force addresses Gulf oil spill
The Washington-based National Association of Counties (NACo) has established a Gulf Counties & Parishes Oil Spill Task Force to ensure that the needs of local governments associated with the Deepwater Horizon disaster are addressed sufficiently by the federal government.

Read more Gusher capped, aircraft control center shuts down
The Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Air Force choreographed a complex aerial ballet of more than 23,000 aircraft missions during the government’s response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s shutting down the operations this month.

Read more by Bob Brewin


Palm Beach Post: BP: oil spill management to switch from emergency mode to long-term cleanup
BP will wrap up its emergency response efforts to the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill in Florida as early as the end of the month and begin long-term restoration efforts focusing on beach cleanup deploying a vastly thinner skeleton crew.

Read more from Dara Kam

Times Picayune: BP oil response leader reaffirms company’s long-term commitment
Mike Utsler, BP’s new head of BP’s spill response effort, pledged to Gulf coast residents Thursday that the company is committed to long-term restoration kin the region.

Read more from Jaquetta White

WUSF: Scientists vie for research money on oil spill
Now that the gusher the in Gulf appears to be capped, scientists are vying for money to research the oil spill’s long-term impact. But there’s not enough money to go around. Members of the Florida Institute of Oceanography met in St. Petersburg to whittle down a list of 233 proposals to just 27 to share $10 million in research money from BP.

Read more:

AP: Alabama sues BP over Gulf oil spill
Alabama’s attorney general filed two lawsuits Thursday—one against BP and one against Transocean– because he says the companies have broken too many promises about accepting responsibility.

Read more

Check this one out, too

Bloomberg: Realtors press Feinberg for BP fund for compensation

Realtors are pressing Kenneth Feinberg who runs the $20 billion claims fund for victims of the oil spill, to reimburse them for their lost business in states along the Gulf of Mexico. Feinberg, who has called real-estate agents a “major political force,” met Wednesday in Washington with the National Association of Realtors.

Read more from Jim Snyder

Times-Picayune: BP cuts oil spill payments in half to businesses

The Times Picayune reports that, despite assurances from BP that it would pay August advances on claims, an internal memo says exactly the opposite. The company will cut payments in half to Gulf businesses because the administration’s claims administrator will be starting on the job.

Read more from David Hammer

Los Angeles Times: Gulf oil spill victims applaud choice of New Orleans court

A federal judicial panel’s decision to consolidate lawsuits arising from the Gulf oil spill in New Orleans has been praised by lawyers representing victims who have lost livelihoods and loved ones in the environmental disaster. Most of the 300 lawsuits have been filed in New Orleans.

Read more from Carol J. Williams

Animal Planet: Sea Turtles tracked by satellite

The National Wildlife Conservancy has partnered with the Sea Turtle Conservancy to track sea turtles and see how they are doing after the oil spill. The program tracks the underwater movements of sea turtles through satellite transmitters that are fixed to the shells of adult sea turtles

Read more


Washington Post: Oil spill shows difficulty Coast Guard faces as it balances traditional tasks with post 9/11 missions

The U.S. Coast Guard in recent years has fought international terrorism, defended Iraqi pipelines and patrolled for pirates in the Arabian Sea. All of those new missions left the Coast Guard strained to do the basic job of oversight on the offshore oil rigs.

Read more by Joe Stephens and Mary Pat Flaherty


2 Responses to “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disator Update”

  1. Welcome to Says:

    Deepwater Horizon crisis ‘may be over’…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Kevin Matovina Says:

    BP vs. the people takes place in New Orleans in Sept., that will tell the tale. Follow the money

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