USA — Officials Report on Oil Spill Response

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2010 — Though oil still con­tin­ues to leak into the Gulf of Mex­i­co after an oil rig off the Louisiana coast explod­ed April 20, offi­cials in charge of clean-up oper­a­tions say they’re doing the best they can to con­tain the spill.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry, com­man­der of the 8th Coast Guard Dis­trict based in New Orleans, said on a con­fer­ence call yes­ter­day that all pos­si­ble mea­sures are being tak­en to stop the leak and con­tain the oil that has spilled so far. 

Though the spill has not reached the shore­line, Landry said, she has coor­di­nat­ed with Gulf Coast states so they’re pre­pared should the slick head their way. 

The Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon, leased to British Petro­le­um by Transocean, an oil min­ing con­trac­tor, caught fire after an explo­sion and sank last week. Eleven work­ers still are miss­ing. The rig, with a plat­form big­ger than a foot­ball field, was one of the most mod­ern and was drilling in 5,000 feet of water about 40 miles from Venice, La. 

Landry cau­tioned peo­ple not to be over­ly con­cerned with the area cov­ered by the spill – about 3,200 square miles. Though the area is large, she said, the spill is not con­tin­u­ous or con­sis­tent across that area. Some parts mere­ly have a rain­bow sheen that indi­cates some oil emul­si­fied in the water, she explained, while some areas have more-dense pock­ets of oil and gas. Some areas have lit­tle or no oil at all, she added. 

Crude oil is emp­ty­ing into the Gulf at a rate of about 1,000 bar­rels a day. Doug Sut­tles, BP’s chief oper­at­ing offi­cer, said it should take two to four weeks to clean the spill. 

Sut­tles said clean-up crews are “at pace” to con­trol the leak and to gath­er oil that has spilled into the Gulf. More than 1,100 bar­rels — near­ly 50,000 gal­lons — of oily water have been col­lect­ed so far. 

Efforts also are under way to bring oil at depth in the Gulf to the sur­face, so it, too, can be col­lect­ed. BP is attempt­ing to drill two “relief” wells that will divert oil flow to new pipes and stor­age equip­ment. Sut­tles added that work is ongo­ing to build a dome to cov­er the leak area and gath­er leak­ing oil into a new pipe. The dome tech­nique has been used in shal­low­er water, but nev­er at this depth, he said. 

Lars Herb­st, direc­tor for the Gulf of Mex­i­co Region of Min­er­als Man­age­ment Ser­vice, said BP and Transocean both have clean safe­ty and main­te­nance records. Find­ing the cause of the explo­sion and leak and then tak­ing pre­ven­tive steps dur­ing future deep-sea drilling oper­a­tions, he said, are pri­or­i­ties in the investigation. 

“We want to leave no stone unturned in ensur­ing noth­ing like this ever occurs again,” he added. 

Char­lie Hen­ry, lead sci­ence coor­di­na­tor for the Nation­al Ocean­ic and Atmos­pher­ic Admin­is­tra­tion, said three sperm whales had been observed swim­ming near the spill, but that there was no indi­ca­tion they had been affected. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →