In the Gulf of Mexico on 20th April 2010 a BP contracted oil-rig suffered an explosion before sinking to the sea bed leaving an oil pipe spilling 42,000 gallons of oil every day straight into the ocean. This translates as 158,970 litres.
BP leased the oil rig from Transocean, but as the responsible party, must foot the bill for the mammoth clean-up operation which has still failed to stem the oil spill six days after the explosion.
Eleven people died in the disaster at the MODU Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible drilling rig contracted by BP to drill for oil at the Mississippi Block 252 site, approximately 52 miles southeast of Venice, La. 97. Other workers were medically evacuated while the rest of the workforce escaped aboard a supply vessel.
The Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, has ordered flags in Louisiana to be flown at half-staff until 3rd May 2010 in respect for the families of the eleven workers killed in the disaster.
A graphic of the oil slick was released by the unified command which includes the US Coastguard and BP.
The campaign director of the Gulf Restoration Network, Aaron Viles, said:
We’re most concerned about the resident pod of sperm whales, the large population of whale sharks and the sea turtles, many species of which are already threatened and endangered in the Gulf.
From my observation, the clean up effort is no where near large enough. We flew over Sunday, and despite beautiful weather and calm seas there were no skimmer boats or booms being applied. Three planes were dropping chemical dispersant but… due to the expansive nature of the spill BP needs to bring far more resources to this crisis.
To report oiled wildlife, call 1-866-557-1401 and leave a message. Messages will be checked hourly by the unified command team.