Gulf oil spill: American Bird Conservancy maps the risk areas
May 2, 2010 | 3:49 pm
Taylor expects spill to break up naturally
By DONNA MELTON
GULFPORT — U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor on Saturday said people shouldn’t be so scared about the massive oil spill in the Gulf; he said after flying over it, “it’s not as bad as I thought.”
Taylor said the oil could break up before reaching Mississippi shores.
Taylor told a group of reporters waiting at Atlantic Aviation he was less concerned about the spill after witnessing its movement firsthand.
“This isn’t Katrina. It’s not Armageddon,” Taylor said. “A lot of people are scared and I don’t think they should be.”
He described the spill as a light, rainbow sheen with patches that look like chocolate milk.
He did not see any traces along the Louisiana shore, near the Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana or the barrier islands in Mississippi.
He said the closest he saw oil was 20 miles from the Louisiana marsh and that it was further than that away from the Chandeleur Islands and even further from the barrier islands.
“It’s breaking up naturally; that’s a good thing. The fact that it’s a long way from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, that’s a great thing, because it gives it time to break up naturally,” he said.
Walker said the sheen could collect on beaches and in estuaries, but it will evaporate within a week.
Walker’s plan is to let any sheen that makes its way into the marshes evaporate naturally.
“That’s what we will probably do, is leave it alone and let nature take its course,” he said.
Any residue on public beaches would be scraped away with a front-end loader, he said.
Back to the Future: $100 Oil May Return Soon
By Erik Heinrich Sunday, May. 02, 2010
Oil has been a slumbering giant for nearly a year, but experts say the world's most important commodity is set to resume its climb back to $100 by this summer at the latest.
If speculators — including investment banks and hedge funds — add fuel to the momentum as they did two years earlier when light crude topped out at $147, oil might be trading at even higher highs around the time of the next U.S. presidential election. This could turn energy security into the top campaign issue, ahead of health care, financial reform and climate change.
The big reason for oil's expected jump is — rising demand from developing countries, which are approaching the same torrid pace of expansion they enjoyed prior to the financial meltdown of 2008. "The Asian recovery is coming on fast, with China and India leading the way," says David Pumphrey, deputy director of the Energy and National Security Program at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies. In the case of China, the economic slack created by lower exports to the U.S. has been picked up by internal growth and trade with the rest of Asia as that country scrambles to raise the standard of living of a burgeoning middle class numbering in the hundreds of millions.
The oil market is revving up again," says economist Peter Tertzakian with Calgary-based ARC Financial Corp., an energy investment firm with a $2.8-billion asset portfolio. "It wants to go higher, but it's being held back."
Ken Salazar Calls Gulf Coast Disaster A 'Grave Scenario' And 'Very Catastrophic' (VIDEO)
(AP/Huffington Post) -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the potential environmental outlook for the Gulf Coast oil spill is "a very grave scenario."
He tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that it could take three months before workers attain what he calls the "ultimate solution" to stopping the leak -- drilling a relief well more than 3 miles below the ocean floor.
Until that's accomplished, he says, "a lot of oil could spread."
Salazar says President Barack Obama has directed him to protect all of the assets in the region, including the communities that will be affected by the spill.
BP Official - Open Heart Surgery at 5,000 Feet; Believes Cause is Failed Equipment
May 02, 2010 9:47 AM
BP America Chairman and President Lamar McKay told me efforts to trigger the blowout preventer to stop the flow of oil from the sea floor are like performing “open heart surgery at 5,000 feet in the dark with robot-controlled submarines.” During my exclusive “This Week” interview, McKay said he believes the cause of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that led the loss of 11 lives and to its eventual sinking was “a failed piece of equipment”. McKay added, “We don't know why it failed yet in this contracted rig.”
McKay said BP, oil industry and government partners are working on four fronts to manage the massive spill: 1) stopping the leak at the source, 2) working on a containment system to collect the oil below the surface and channel the flow through a pipe, 3) fighting to keep oil from washing up on shore and 4) dealing with the clean-up of any oil on and off shore.
A containment dome, McKay said, has been fabricated and is in the final engineering phase. McKay said he expects the dome to be deployed in 6-8 days.
Obama Gulf Oil Spill Speech (video & transcript)
Oil Spill Worse Than Exxon Valdez: Oceanographer
First Posted: 05- 1-10 05:14 PM | Updated: 05- 2-10 09:19 AM
The Gulf Coast spill will have eclipsed the Exxon Valdez in terms of total gallons of oil before the weekend is over -- making it the largest oil spill in U.S. history -- according to calculations made by oceanographer Ian MacDonald after studying aerial Coast Guard photos taken earlier in the week.
MacDonald, a professor at Florida State University who counts "oil and gas development" among his areas of expertise, stopped short of comparing the Deepwater Horizon spill to that of the Alaskan oil tanker, but said Saturday, "The spill is growing. I'm comfortable saying that the size and extent of this slick is 10 million gallons."
Given that just over a million gallons are leaking into the Gulf per day, according to MacDonald's calculations, the spill will shortly top the Exxon Valdez's estimated 11-million-gallon spill. It is almost certain to cost more than the Exxon spill, which cost $3.5 billion for cleanup and another $5 billion worth of lawsuits and other settlements.
The environmental whistleblowers at SkyTruth, which debunked earlier lowball estimates from the government and BP, said the spill will top the Exxon spill by the end of the day Saturday. Federal point man and Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen didn't dispute the calculations of MacDonald or SkyTruth, but said "any exact estimate is probably impossible at this point."
Fishing Closed By Oil Spill: Feds Ban Commercial And Recreational Fishing From Louisiana To Florida
First Posted: 05- 2-10 02:55 PM | Updated: 05- 2-10 10:15 PM
VENICE, La. -- BP's chairman defended his company's safety record and said Sunday that "a failed piece of equipment" was to blame for a massive oil spill along the Gulf Coast, where President Barack Obama was headed for a firsthand update on the slick creeping toward American shores.
BP PLC chairman Lamar McKay told ABC's "This Week" that he can't say when the well a mile beneath the sea might be plugged. But he said he believes a 74-ton metal and concrete box - which a company spokesman said was 40 feet tall, 24 feet wide and 14 feet deep - could be placed over the well on the ocean floor in six to eight days.
McKay said BP officials are still working to activate a "blowout preventer" mechanism meant to seal off the geyser of oil.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the closure would last for at least 10 days and was aimed at keeping seafood safe. Government scientists were taking samples from waters near the spill to determine whether there is any danger.
Long tendrils of oil sheen made their way into South Pass, a major channel through the salt marshes of Louisiana's southeastern bootheel that is a breeding ground for crab, oysters, shrimp, redfish and other seafood.
Venice charter boat captain Bob Kenney lamented that there was no boom in the water to corral the oil, and said BP was "pretty much over their head in the deep water."
"It's like a slow version of Katrina," he added. "My kids will be talking about the effect of this when they're my age."
There is growing criticism that the government and oil company BP PLC should have done more to stave off the disaster, which has cast a pall over the region's economy and fragile environment.
A timeline of the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion and spill
By Ryan Smith, The Times-Picayune
May 02, 2010, 11:51AM
April 20: The MODU Deepwater Horizon deep-water oil drilling rig explodes and catches fire in the Gulf of Mexico at about 10 p.m. 126 people were on board, 11 go missing and at least 15 are injured. read
April 21: The U.S. Coast Guard holds a news conference to discuss the explosion and those missing. "We have no idea where the 11 unaccounted-for personnel are," said Mary Landry, commander of the Coast Guard's 8th district headquarters. read
April 22: About 100 survivors from the explosion arrive on shore. The 11 workers unaccounted for are still missing. read
Deepwater Horizon sinks into the Gulf of Mexico. read
April 23: The U.S. Coast Guard says no oil is leaking from the undersea well at the Deepwater Horizon site. read
The U.S. Coast Guard suspends the search for the 11 missing workers. read
April 24: Contrary to what the U.S. Coast Guard said the previous day, oil is leaking from the undersea well at the Deepwater Horizon site at a rate of about 1,000 barrels per day, or 42,000 gallons. read
April 25: Robot subs are used to try to stop the leak, which continues at a rate of about 42,000 gallons per day. read
April 28: Crews begin controlled burn of oil. This method is used to limit the amount of oil that could wash ashore. read
The NOAA announces that five times as much oil (210,000 gallons) is spewing in the Gulf of Mexico than originally thought. A new leak is discovered, as well, bringing the total to three. read
April 29: An oil spill protection meeting draws nearly 200 fishers to Chalmette. read
Governor Bobby Jindal issues emergency declaration in oil leak in Gulf of Mexico. read
April 30: The Louisiana National Guard prepares to send communication equipment, boats, all-terrain vehicles and other equipment to help combat the oil spill. read
First bird covered in oil is caught and cared for. read
May 1: St. Bernard Parish fishers begin training to assist in fight against Gulf of Mexico oil spill. read
Booms readied near Chef Menteur, Ft. Pike, to protect Lake Pontchartrain from Gulf of Mexico oil spill. read
The Obama administration names Adm. Thad Allen, the retiring U.S. Coast Guard commandant who directed recovery operations during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to direct Gulf of Mexico oil spill response. read
No signs of oil at mouth of Mississippi River or Gulf Outlet yet as strong winds stall work deploying booms. read
May 2: President Barack Obama travels to Gulf for update, assures Louisiana that oil spill has federal government's full attention. read
Oil rig explosion and spill in Gulf of Mexico was because of failed equipment, according to BP Chairman Lamar McKay. read
St. Bernard Parish fishers hit the coastline to fight spreading oil from Gulf spill. read
LA Times Gulf Oil Spill Coverage
I found some awesome graphics that detail the situation. What do you guys think? Do you understand the process of how things happened and what is at stake?
FYI, the northern part of Matagorda Island is where I'm at. You see that bay right there at the tip? 20 miles inward is where my house is at. We sometimes see dolphins swimming in the back. Haven't had gators in a while.
About 20 years back we had a major Mercury spill by Alcoa. For ages people were told not to go into the water or eat the fish and seafood from the bay. There is still some areas off limits.