BP has created a business unit specifically for the Deepwater Horizon leak, its containment and mitigation operations. The Gulf Coast Restoration Organization will be headed by Bob Dudley, who will report directly to BP’s CEO. BP describes this new organization as:
“The new organization will manage all aspects of the response to the Deepwater Horizon incident and the oil and gas spill in the Gulf of Mexico, ensuring that BP fulfills its promises to the people of the Gulf Coast and continues its work to restore the region’s environment. BP’s decision to establish this new organization in no way limits the resources that are available to meet the company’s commitments to clean up the spill and restore the Gulf Coast. BP’s Exploration and Production Segment will remain accountable for all activities relating to killing the MC252 exploratory well and containing the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico.”
A mechanical glitch in the LMRP cap this week caused the removal of the cap for a ten hour period. During that time, only the Q4000 was capturing crude oil and most of the leak was flowing freely into the Gulf of Mexico. The cap was successfully re-emplaced and the drillship Discoverer Enterprise has resumed collecting oil. BP reports that capture operations from both vessels have stored or flared 364,500 barrels of oil, 15,309,000 gallons of crude.
Drilling of the two relief wells continues. Well one drilling was suspended on June 23 to allow for a sensor device to be used to locate the MC252 well bore, the leaking well. It was located and drilling resumed. This process will be repeated frequently as the relief well closes in on its target. Well one is now at a depth of 16,275 feet with a projected intercept of MC252 at about 18,000 feet.
Well two is at 10,500 feet and drilling is continuing. This well was begun later than the first well, and drilling was suspended for a time while the drilling rig was used in the abortive “Top Kill” operation.
The current fisheries closing shows 32.5% of Federal waters in the Gulf with restrictions. The Unified Incident Command (UIC) reports “NOAA and FDA are implementing a broad-scaled seafood sampling plan. The plan includes sampling seafood from inside and outside the closure area, as well as market-based sampling.” This is in response to the recent Coast Guard discoveries of fishing vessels operating in prohibited waters.
The BP update for the morning of June 25 states:
“Approximately 37,000 personnel, more than 4,500 vessels and some 100 aircraft are now engaged in the response effort.
Operations to skim oil from the surface of the water now have recovered, in total, approximately 610,000 barrels (25.6 million gallons) of oily liquid. In addition, a total of 275 controlled burns have been carried out to date, removing an estimated 239,000 barrels of oil from the sea’s surface.
The total length of containment boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil from reaching the coast is now almost 2.8 million feet (530 miles), and about 4.2 million feet (800 miles) of sorbent boom also has been deployed.
To date, almost 74,000 claims have been filed and more than 39,000 payments have been made, totaling almost $126 million.The cost of the response to date amounts to approximately $2.35 billion, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs.”
An area of increased weather activity off the east coast of Central America is being watched closely for development into a tropical storm or a hurricane. The preparations for hurricane season are continuing between the UIC and BP, including what and when to move the various ships in and around the Deepwater Horizon / BP leak.