The BP oil spill at Deepwater Horizon is already five times bigger than first thought and BP bosses have been forced to admit that the worst case scenario for the spill could see 60,000 barrels per day pour into the ocean around the Gulf of Mexico.
Briefing House Energy and Environment committee on Tuesday 3rd May 2010, Representative Edward Markey was told that the oil spill could reach 60,000 barrels of oil per day, rather than the current 5,000. That would translate as 9,539,237 litres of oil per day.
Fishing in the area of the oil spill has been suspended for ten days over health concerns. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has restricted fishing within the following area for ten days effective from 4th May 2010:
BP is hiring fishermen to help in the clean-up effort – interested parties should call (425) 745-8017. Those who wish to make a claim should call (800) 440-0858.
Air quality has already been affected in Houston and New Orleans. Those who are susceptible to changes in air quality should click on the air quality map below to see the latest readings:
The failed Remote Operate Vehicles operation has managed to cut the end off the riser pipe which used to lead from the oil well to the rig before the rig explosion. The pipe has now been capped. However, this will not affect the rate at which oil gushes from the other two breaches in the pipe.
Dispersants are now being released at the source of the oil leaks, approximately 5,000 feet below the ocean surface in an attempt to better disperse the oil. Also, the first collection dome was deployed on Monday May 3rd aboard the Discovery Enterprise. The dome is intended to funnel oil from the sea floor for collection at the surface. However, such chambers have never been used at 5,000 feet down before and will still take a week to become fully operational.
Transocean has been brought in to provide both the deep sea containment chamber, collection ship and ultra-deepwater semi-submersible oil rig for drilling a relief well. The idea of relief wells is to intersect the broken oil well and then pump matter through the newly drilled hole into the original well to seal it.