Thursday, July 01, 2010

Day 73 BP Oil Spill Update: Alex Weather Slows Recovery Plan

Jul 1: BP reports that for the last 12 hours on June 30 (noon to midnight), approximately 8,790 barrels of oil were collected and approximately 4,055 barrels of oil and 28.3 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared. On June 30, total oil recovered was approx. 23,080 barrels (14,875 barrels of oil were collected; 8,200 barrels of oil were flared; and 53.2 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared). Oil collection volumes were lower on the Enterprise on June 30 due to lightening storms from 9 AM until 11.45 AM CDT. Total oil recovered from both the LMRP Cap and Q4000 systems since they were implemented is approx. 509,810 barrels. An additional 22,000 barrels were collected from the RIT tool earlier in May bringing the total recovered to approx. 531,810 barrels.

    In another development, BP issued a release indicating that, "Everyone involved in the response effort should 'feel free to talk' to media about their experiences." BP offered additional guidance and clarification to all personnel to ensure that members of the response team -- including, but not limited to, all government, BP, and contract personnel -- know they are free to talk to the media. Doug Suttles, COO of BP said, "I want to thank everyone for their tremendous commitment to lead and support the response and cleanup efforts," said I really cannot say this enough: BP wants all individuals to feel free to share their thoughts and experiences with journalists, if they so choose. BP has not and will not prevent anyone from sharing his or her own experiences, opinions, or views." BP has provided guidelines and "media access cards" to be distributed at all levels of operations. The cards include "helpful tips" and a 1-800 number personnel can call for more information.
    Hurricane Alex made landfall in Mexico last evening and weather condition, primarily wave action (some reaching 7 feet) and winds between 17 and 22 knots have caused problems with skimming and booming operations. Wind was expected to diminish slightly to 12 to 14 knots and over the next day or so with wave 4-6 feet. A major impact on the operations was the hooking up the third producing vessel the Helix Producer, which was anticipated to have been finished, but has been delayed because of the inability to hook up to the flexible hoses because of high waves. That operation is expected to increase recovery to over 50,000 barrels per day. Near calm seas are necessary to complete the operation.
    The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of approximately 16,900 feet below the surface. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well to a depth of more than 12,000 feet below the Gulf surface. BP continues the "ranging" process -- which involves periodically withdrawing the drill pipe and sending an electrical signal down to determine how close they are getting to the wellbore. Finally, to date, 87,416 claims have been opened, from which more than $132.3 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 952 claims adjusters on the ground.
    Access information on BP activities from the BP response website (click here). Access BP release on media access and link to the guidelines and cards (click here). Access the latest June 30 briefing from the Unified Command (click here). Access additional information updates and links to releases and briefings on the Administration's response from the Unified Command website (click here).