Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–July 31, 2010.
PAST 24 HOURS
Drilling of the Relief Well Continues
Development Driller III continues to condition the first relief well in preparation for laying the casing line, 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 has completed pressure testing and is fully operational and ready for the static diagnostics test. 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 6,970 pounds per square inch.
FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 263 field personnel, 85 vessels and three helicopters participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, wildlife recovery teams responded to 34 calls on the Wildlife Hotline. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
Shoreline Cleanup Operations Continue Along the Gulf Coast
Cleanup operations to remove oil and oiled debris from shorelines continue on National Parks Service lands and Fish and Wildlife Service refuges along the Gulf Coast. On the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a 22-person crew removed 6,450 pounds of oiled debris from Horn Island; a 25-person crew removed 7,600 pounds from Petit Bois Island; a 24-person crew removed 1,650 pounds from Ship Island; and a 6-person crew removed 1,650 pounds from Cat Island.
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, 1,735 are active.
- More than 32,200 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 4,400 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 3.4* million feet of containment boom and 7.99 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 969,000 feet of containment boom and 3.55 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 623 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 355 miles in Louisiana , 107 miles in Mississippi , 69 miles in Alabama , and 92 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.