Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–September 17, 2010.
PAST 24 HOURS
Statement from Admiral Allen on Relief Well Intercept
Last night, National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen released the following statement on the relief well intercept.
“I have received extensive briefings over the last 24 hours regarding the final effort to intercept the Macondo well. Through a combination of sensors embedded in the drilling equipment and sophisticated instrumentation that is capable of sensing distance to the well casing, BP engineers and the federal science team have concluded that the Development Driller III relief well has intersected the Macondo well. This determination was made based on a loss of drilling fluids that indicated communication had been established beyond the relief well, the pressure exerted against the drill bit as it came in contact with the well casing and, finally, an increase in pressure in the choke line of the Macondo well blow out preventer.”
“While each of these indicators taken separately would not necessarily be conclusive, the aggregate data available supports the conclusion that the two wells are joined. It is also important to note that none of the measurements supported a scenario where the annulus of the well is in communication with the reservoir. Accordingly, we intend to proceed with preparation to cement the annulus and complete the bottom kill of the well. Further information will be provided as cementing procedures are completed.”
FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 26 personnel and 19 vessels have been deployed for reconnaissance and recovery operations. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 42 people and six vessels participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
Shoreline Cleanup Operations Continue Along the Gulf Coast
As part of continued efforts to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats from the impacts of the BP oil spill, FWS and National Parks Service cleanup crews continued shoreline cleanup operations at Gulf Islands National Seashore and at FWS refuges—removing oil debris from Cat Island (475 lbs), Fort Pickens (1,660 lbs), Horn Island (3,000 lbs), Ivan’s Cut (1,780 lbs), Perdido (2,263 lbs), Perdue Beach (150 lbs), Petit Bois Island (2,100 lbs), Santa Rosa (2,795) and West Ship Island (790).
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $27.2 Million
SBA has approved 314 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $27.2 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 933 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $5.23 million per month in payments. 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 protected].
Independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility Disbursements Surpass $171.1 Million
Since the BP oil spill response began, the administration has worked to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who have suffered a financial loss—first by directing BP to improve its claims process and then by establishing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), the independent agency administered by Kenneth Feinberg which was formed in June as part of an agreement between the Obama Administration and BP.
To date, 66,311 claims have been opened through the GCCF, from which more than $171.1 million have been disbursed—in addition to the more than 150,000 claims filed and $395 million disbursed through the BP claims process. For information on how to file a claim, visit the Gulf Coast Claims Facility Web site. Additional information about the claims process and all available avenues of assistance can be found at www.disasterassistance.gov.
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, 1,001 are active.
- Approximately 25,200 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 2,600 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 670,000 feet of containment boom* and 9.66 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 2.04 million feet of containment 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.
- 15 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
- Approximately 110 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts—approximately 99 miles in Louisiana, 9 miles in Mississippi and 2 miles in Florida. Approximately 490 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts—approximately 226 miles in Louisiana, 90 miles in Mississippi, 60 miles in Alabama, and 114 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot 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 39,885 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 83 percent is now 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 is due to the continued recovery of displaced boom. Once recovered, this boom must be decontaminated, repaired, inspected, and certified before being staged or redeployed. New boom is being deployed in some areas.