BP has failed to manually shut the blowout preventer, and it could take three months to drill a relief well. Before then, BP will try to put a giant hood over the leaking wellhead, or perhaps even install a second preventer. But no short-term options have a proven track record to stop an oil spill. [CSM]
The pipeline from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded 80 kilometres offshore on 20 April and sank two days later has been spewing out a plume of crude oil at a rate of at least 5,000 barrels of oil (800,000 litres) each day. Some estimates put that rate much higher: based on analyses of satellite data, the nonprofit organization SkyTruth, based in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, said at the weekend that as much as 26,000 barrels (4.1 million litres) a day could be escaping from the wellhead. Efforts to plug the leak with remotely operated vehicles have been unsuccessful, and a relief well that BP plans to drill to stop the flow could take three months to complete. [NN]
According to NYT, Some experts have been quick to predict apocalypse, painting grim pictures of 1,000 miles of irreplaceable wetlands and beaches at risk, fisheries damaged for seasons, fragile species wiped out and a region and an industry economically crippled for years.
President Obama has called the spill “a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.” And some scientists have suggested that the oil might hitch a ride on the loop current in the gulf, bringing havoc to the Atlantic Coast.
BP struggles to stop Gulf of Mexico oil leak
BP Plc pressed ahead with efforts to stop oil from continuing to spew from an offshore well that ruptured almost two weeks ago in the Gulf of Mexico off the U.S. coast as the British energy giant’s shares fell further on Tuesday. [Reu]
If it turns out that the sea turtles were affected by the spill, the oil could have harmed the reptiles in several different ways that may not be so easy to detect. A Duke University-led study, for example, found that contaminants may lead to changes in a sea turtle’s immune system. Contaminants may also cause possible liver damage and lead to alterations in protein and carbohydrate regulation. [DSC]
The latest satellite image of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico indicates it has shrunk since last week. But scientists say that only means some of the oil has gone underwater.
Hans Graber of the University of Miami Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing said Monday the new image found oil covering about 2,000 square miles. The slick was roughly 3,400 square miles last Thursday.[MH]
Michael Brown: Obama Wanted Oil Spill (VIDEO) [HP]