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Oil ‘coming ashore’ from Deepwater Horizon spill

deepwater sat map 29.jpgOil leaking from the site of the Deepwater Horizon drilling accident has begun to hit the shores of the United States, according to media reports.

Authorities have still not managed to stem the flow of oil from three leaks 1.5 km underwater in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig and the subsequent oil leakage has now been declared an incident of national significance, President Barack Obama announced yesterday. Department of Interior teams have been mobilised to inspect all platforms and rigs in the Gulf, he said.

Declaring the incident a “Spill of National Significance” allows more federal resources to be brought to bear. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has already asked for funding for 6,000 National Guard troops to be deployed to help clean up the oil.

Yesterday, Jindal said, “Based on current projections, we expect the oil to reach land today at the Pass-A-Loutre Wildlife Management Area. By tomorrow, we expect oil to have reached the Chandeleur Islands and by Saturday, it is expected to reach the Breton Sound. These are important wildlife areas and these next few days are critical.”

New attempts to mitigate the damage the leak will cause are also starting. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is attempting to see if dispersants can be applied to the oil at the point of the leak, in addition to spraying them on slicks at the surface. And yesterday’s test burn succeeding in burning off around 100 barrels of oil in 45 minutes.

Obama had planned to expand offshore drilling, but industry experts are already thinking the accident may curtail this move.

“Regulators will want to understand how this occurred and quite reasonably wish to introduce additional regulation, if that’s appropriate, to prevent it happening again," Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal. “You certainly won’t see BP standing in the way of that.”

Attention is now turning to the shores though, where an environmental disaster may be in the offing.

“It is of grave concern,” David Kennedy, of NOAA, told AP. “I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling.”

UPDATE: AP reports that “A top adviser to President Barack Obama says no new oil drilling will be authorized until authorities learn what caused the explosion of the rig Deepwater Horizon.”

“No additional drilling has been authorised and none will until we find out what happened … and whether there was something unique and preventable here,” said David Axelrod (Times).

deepwater forecast.bmp

Image top: Oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico as of 29/04 16:48 UTC / NASA MODIS

Image lower: NOAA oil locations and forecast.

Comments

  1. Report this comment

    SPO101 said:

    Everyone is making a big deal about the “bigot” gaff British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made. But because I’m a ruthless SOB who knows how to get thing DONE… I’m going to point out that our beloved President Obama made even a bigger blunder a while back when he opened the East Coast for offshore drilling.

    WHO KNEW that safe, harmless British Petroleum oil rig in the Gulf was going to blow up and cause the worst environmental disaster since the Exxon Valdez. I’m sure all you “Drill Baby Drill” right-wing, fanatic rednecks in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Florida are looking forward to all that valuable oil washing up on your coastline and wetlands… you’ll be RICH, right?

    (lol… You pathetic, morons chant “Drill Baby Drill” but think Oil Companies should NOT be responsible for SPILLS and let the government using YOUR tax dollars to take care of the environmental disasters. Ohhh and guess what? The oil from that doomed rig wasn’t even benefiting the USA. That oil was going to Communist China…

    WHAT?

    I’m going to WRITE, call talk radio, make speeches and work tirelessly until you right-wingers go down in history as the worst sucker fools ever. Republicans and their Corporate masters have ravaged and expatriated most of this nation’s wealth and resources… WHY WOULD ANY GREAT AMERICAN SUPPORT THAT? The way I see IT, Conservatives are a bunch of anti-American traitors.

    That’s the problem here… President Obama has been TRYING so hard to cater scandalous multinational Corporations and their nutcase Republican/Conservative flunkies… he’s forgetting about the serious Progressives who got him in the Whitehouse.

    EVERY TIME Obama announces Center Right policy decisions to make Republicans happy his poll numbers go DOWN in the community that VOTED for him in 2008. You got to STOP this Mr. President. The Right-Wing ISN’T WORTH THE SACRIFICE… I WANT THAT CHANGE that was promised m#*~/’s!

    The LAST thing the USA needs right now is for the Republican Party low grade thought processes to TAKE BACK Congress…

    I’m overjoyed to see the Democrats are FINALLY starting to take on the Republican Party of NO! Harry Reid must of got a shot of testosterone or something because he muscled the Republicans to allow debate on Wall Street Reform. OK Republicans, filibuster! Explain to the American PEOPLE exactly WHY you think regulation and reform are bad ideas.

    Now that the entire Gulf Region of the USA is threatened by this horrific oil spill… maybe Republican voters can remember Bush/Cheney removed all safety and environmental regulations from oil rig operations.

    All legitimate EVIDENCE proves the Republican Party is setting up the American PEOPLE for a big fall we’re going to take because of all the waste, fraud, abuse, scandal, sexual deviancy, corruption, lies, incompetence, job outsourcing, off-shore tax evasion, reckless economics, welfare for the rich, war profiteering, Constitutional violations AND a Corporate Crime Wave of epic proportions…. The WORST looting of a nation’s wealth and resources in the history of MANKIND! All the result of 8 years of Bush/Cheney and the Republican Controlled Congress of 1994-2006…

    Where was the Tea Party anger THEN? ya #*~/ ignorant hypocrites.

    consciousmc.blogspot.com

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