Thursday, June 24, 2010
Day 66 BP Oil Spill Update: Recovery Resumes; Pensacola Hit
Jun 24: Over night, reports are that extensive oil globs rolled on to the white sand beaches of Pensacola, FL. BP reports that for the last 12 hours on June 23 (noon to midnight), approximately 2,800 barrels of oil were collected and approximately 3,910 barrels of oil and 16.9 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared. The LMRP cap was successfully reinstalled on the Deepwater Horizon's failed blow-out preventer at approximately 1830 CDT on June 23. On June 23, total oil recovered was approx. 16,830 barrels (8,300 barrels of oil were collected; 8,530 barrels of oil were flared; and 36.7 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared). Total oil recovered from both the LMRP Cap and Q4000 systems since they were implemented is approx. 342,500 barrels. An additional 22,000 barrels were collected from the RIT tool earlier in May bringing the total recovered to approx. 364,500 barrels.
Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander indicated in his June 23 briefing that "an incident" earlier in the day was discovered when BP noticed that there was some kind of a gas rising through the vent that carries the warm water down that prohibits hydrates from forming. Out of abundance of caution the Discover Enterprise removed the containment cap with the riser pipe and moved away until they could assess the condition. BP later indicated that the problem was a Remotely Operated Vehicle that had bumped into one of the vents that allows the excess oil to come out and actually closed it thereby creating pressure and the backflow potentially off the water vent. The cap was off for approximately 11 hours
Allen also reported that the first freestanding riser pipe has been installed that will allow increase oil recovery. BP is testing it for pressure leaks and will look at putting an anchoring system down. Allen said by potentially next Tuesday an additional production vessel may be online that is expected to increase recovery to 53,000 barrels/day.
Jordan Barab, Deputy to Secretary of Labor for OSHA reported on OSHA's efforts in assuring that BP, the contractors, everyone working on the response activities are complying with health and safety standards, and with any kind of safe working conditions. Including being supplied with the appropriate personal protective equipment, which may include gloves, coveralls, and in certain cases respirators. He said, "We have been taking samples again, of worker chemical exposures. Again, on the beaches, in the swamps, on the boats, everywhere that workers are. And I will just let you know. . . that we have found no exposure levels to any chemicals that are of any concern."
NOAA announced that it had opened more than 8,000 square miles of previously closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico, because the agency has not observed oil in the area. The most significant opening is an area due south of Mississippi which was closed Monday, June 21. Additionally, some smaller areas were opened off the Louisiana and central Florida coasts. The closed area now represents 78,597 square miles, which is approximately 32.5 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters -- down from 36 percent on June 21.