Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–July 17, 2010.
PAST 24 HOURS
Admiral Thad Allen Provides Update on the Well Integrity Test:
"The federal science team has been closely overseeing BP’s well integrity test with the goal of first doing no harm to the well. Based on the data and pressure readings compiled to date, the test has provided us with valuable information which will inform the procedure to kill the well and a better understanding of options for temporary shut in during a hurricane.
As we continue to see success in the temporary halt of oil from the leak, the U.S. government and BP have agreed to allow the well integrity test to continue another 24 hours.
The government has ordered additional monitoring of the area while the test continues which includes doubling the seismic mapping runs over the well site. A NOAA sonar ship has also been brought to the site to assist in monitoring the entire sea floor area around the well. The ship will make regular passes around the well looking for any hydrocarbon release subsea, and both acoustic and visual monitoring of the area with ROV’s will continue. The pressure in the capping stack continues to increase very slowly and we want to continue to monitor this progress.
When this test is eventually stopped, we will immediately return to containment, using the new, tighter sealing cap with both the Helix Producer and the Q4000. Additional collection capacity of up to 80,000 barrels per day is also being added in the coming days.
Progress also continues on the two relief wells the federal government has required BP to drill. The relief well remains the ultimate step in stopping the BP oil leak for good."
Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells
The drilling of relief wells continues. The Development Driller III resumed drilling operations, which were temporarily put on hold in order to avoid interference with the well integrity test, and has drilled the first relief well to a depth of 17,840 feet below the Gulf surface. A 12th "ranging run" test was conducted—which involves periodically withdrawing the drill pipe and sending an electrical signal down to determine how close they are getting to the wellbore The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of more than 15,960 feet below the surface.
Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, a total of 288 personnel, 83 vessels, five helicopters and two planes participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 40 two-person teams, 24 support personnel and 11 vessels responded. These missions were conducted in response to 324 calls received on the Wildlife Hotline to report of oiled and injured wildlife. 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, 1,628 active.
- Approximately 43,100 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 6,470 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.
- More than 3.36 million feet of containment boom and 7.1 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 845,000 feet of containment boom and 2.8 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
- More than 33.9 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 574,000 gallons are available.
- 408 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 11 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 587 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 336 miles in Louisiana, 112 miles in Mississippi, 68 miles in Alabama, and 71 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 83,927 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 65 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 Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, 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.