The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
UPDATED August 1, 2010 7 PM
* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.
PAST 24 HOURS
Admiral Allen Provides an Update on the BP Oil Spill Response
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen provided a briefing to inform the American public and answer questions on the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill. A full transcript is available here.
Admiral Allen reported on the progress of laying the final casing run in preparation for cementing in the relief well and reiterated the administration’s commitment to cleaning up impacted shorelines.
“We continue to survey the entire area for tar balls, any type of oil. We continue to replace boom that was damaged during the recent storm and pick up absorbent boom that has oil on it and replace that with clean boom and we'll continue to do that,” he said. “Our forces are standing by to attack oil wherever it may be located.”
Drilling of the Relief Well Continues
Development Driller III is in the process of laying the final casing run, a necessary step before beginning the static diagnostics test—pumping mud and cement in through the top of the well—which will provide more information about well integrity and ultimately improves the probability of success for the relief well. The Q4000 is on-scene and ready for the static diagnostics test. Once the casing is set, the cementing of the relief well is expected to begin within four to five days. Development Driller II will hold operations and await results of the DDIII relief well.
Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of 17,864 feet below the Gulf surface and Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of 15,963 feet below the surface.
Seismic and Acoustic Testing Continue to Ensure the Integrity of the Wellhead
In order to ensure the integrity of the wellhead and search for and respond to anomalies, the research vessel Geco Topaz and the NOAA Ship Henry R. Bigelow are conducting seismic and acoustic tests around the wellhead—part of continued efforts to use the best scientific tools available in response to the BP oil spill. The pressure in the wellhead continues to rise, demonstrating that it has integrity, and is currently at 6,980 pounds per square inch.
FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service excavated 145 Loggerhead sea turtle eggs from nests at the St. Vincent and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuges in Florida for transport to the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s East Coast where they will be hatched and released.
From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 263 field personnel, 84 vessels and four helicopters and one float plane participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, wildlife recovery teams responded to 33 calls on the Wildlife Hotline. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
By the Numbers to Date:
· The administration has authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to respond to this crisis; currently, 1,727 are active.
· Approximately 30,100 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
· More than 4,500 vessels are currently 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.
· Approximately 3.35* million feet of containment boom and 8.03 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 983,000 feet of containment boom and 3.54 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
· More than 34.7 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
· Approximately 1.84 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 771,000 sub-sea. Approximately 577,000 gallons are available.
· 411 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 11.14 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife. Because calculations on the volume of oil burned can take more than 48 hours, the reported total volume may not reflect the most recent controlled burns.
· 17 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
· Approximately 632 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 365 miles in Louisiana, 111 miles in Mississippi, 68 miles in Alabama, and 88 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot of shoreline currently experiencing impacts from oil so that planning and field operations can more quickly respond to new impacts; they do not include cumulative impacts to date, or shoreline that has already been cleared.
· Approximately 57,539 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 76 percent remains open. Details can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
· To date, the administration has leveraged assets and skills from numerous foreign countries and international organizations as part of this historic, all-hands-on-deck response, including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, the European Union’s Monitoring and Information Centre, and the European Maritime Safety Agency.
*The decrease in boom numbers since yesterday is due to the recovery of some displaced boom in Florida. Once recovered, this boom must be decontaminated, repaired, inspected, and certified before being staged or redeployed.
· For information about the response effort, visit www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.
· For specific information about the federal-wide response, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill.
· To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center, call (713) 323-1670.
· 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.
· For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.
· For National Park Service updates about potential park closures, resources at risk, and NPS actions to protect vital park space and wildlife, visit http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/oil-spill-response.htm.
· For Fish and Wildlife Service updates about response along the Gulf Coast and the status of national wildlife refuges, visit http://www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/.
· For daily updates on fishing closures, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.
· For information on assistance loans for affected businesses, visit the SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance, call (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or email email@example.com.
· To file a claim with BP, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at (800) 440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. 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.
· In addition, www.disasterassistance.gov has been enhanced to provide a one-stop shop for information on how to file a claim with BP and access additional assistance—available in English and Spanish.
· Any members of the press who encounter response personnel restricting their access or violating the media access policy set forth by Admiral Allen should contact the Joint Information Center. Click here for more information, including a list of regular embed opportunities.