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State of Louisiana
Unified Command Joint Information Center
News Release
Sunday, May 16, 2010

UPDATED May 16, 2010 6 PM

* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.

PAST 24 HOURS

Riser Insertion Tube Leak Mitigation Tactic is Tested

The Unified Area Command reports that overnight the Riser Insertion Tube Tool was successfully tested and inserted into the leaking riser, capturing some amounts of oil and gas. The oil was stored on board the Discoverer Enterprise drill ship 5,000 feet above on the water’s surface, and natural gas was burned through a flare system on board the ship. 

The test was halted temporarily when the tube was dislodged, but technicians have fully inspected the system and have re-inserted the tool. While not collecting all of the leaking oil, this tool is an important step in reducing the amount of oil being released into Gulf waters

Secretary Salazar and Secretary Napolitano issued a joint statement on these efforts: “Today, BP attempted another test to contain some of the oil leaking from the riser. This technique is not a solution to the problem, and it is not yet clear how successful it may be. We are closely monitoring BP’s test with the hope that it will contain some of the oil, but at the same time, federal scientists are continuing to provide oversight and expertise to BP as they move forward with other strategies to contain the spill and stop the flow of oil. We will not rest until BP permanently seals the wellhead, the spill is cleaned up, and the communities and natural resources of the Gulf Coast are restored and made whole.”

Progress Made in Relief Well Drilling Preparations

MMS reports the Development Driller III, which will drill the first relief well, has finished running blowout preventer (BOP) stack and riser and is currently latching the BOP to the wellhead for the first relief well. The Development Driller II, which will drill the second relief well, is on location and is making preparations for initiating the drilling process and performing BOP maintenance.

Wildlife Surveillance and Recovery Teams Search for Impacted Wildlife

Seven Fish and Wildlife Service surveillance and recovery teams were deployed from the Mobile, Ala., Command Center—four via land with two support crews; two via sea on 2 separate vessels; and one via helicopter over-flight. 

Two helicopters conducted flights at low levels to spot wildlife along the Biloxi Marsh, Breton Sound, SW Pass and Pas-A-Loutre. One helicopter conducted an early morning IR Thermal Imagery pilot study flight with Department of Defense scientists. The second helicopter continued its flights with DOI Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland over New Orleans area, Houma Command Center and SE Louisiana Refuge Complex in Lacombe, La., to observe potentially impacted wildlife.

By the Numbers to Date:

  • Personnel were quickly deployed and more than 19,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
  • More than 650 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.
  • More than 1.25 million feet of containment boom and 440,000 feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 285,000 feet of containment boom and 900,000 feet of sorbent boom are available. 
  • Approximately 6.3 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 600,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 280,000 gallons are available. 
  • 17 staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines, including: Dauphin Island, Ala., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla.,  Port St. Joe, Fla., St. Marks, Fla.,  Amelia, La., Cocodrie, La., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., St. Mary, La.; Venice, La., Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., and Pass Christian, Miss.

Resources:

  • To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center, call (985) 902-5231.
  • To volunteer, or to report oiled shoreline, call (866) 448-5816. Volunteer opportunities can also be found here.
  • To submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system, or to submit alternative response technology, services, or products, call 281-366-5511.
  • To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Messages will be checked hourly.
  • For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.
  • To file a claim, or report spill-related damage, call BP’s helpline at (800) 440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. For those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118.  More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here.  

For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.




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