April 29, 2010

If you are interested in volunteering to help revive our beautiful Gulf of Mexico and live East of Mobile, AL. Please either **contact me or call 1-251-431-6409   directly to be connected to the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. If you live West of Mobile, AL and want to help, please call 1-866-448-5816  for local clean up chapters. One person can make a difference!!!

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I was included in a teleconference call in which Doug Suttles, Chief Operating Officer for BP Exploration and Production, Scientist Charlie Henry, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and Admiral Mary Landry of the US Coast Guard (Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District and Commander of Task Force 189.8) were in attendance and discussing the matter of the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.The State of Louisiana has officially declared a “State of Emergency” while three other states, Florida, Alabama and Texas plays the defensive on an oil spill that is spreading 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana and spreading.

BP has claimed the majority of the responsibility for the oil spill and is spending roughly $6 million per day in the effort. However, BP has asked for assistance from the Federal Government to use their resources which Obama has stated that he would help in “every means possible”.

The ravishing weather that the SouthEast US region experienced a few days back has churned the oil and is making it more difficult to clean up as well as has pushed the oil spread further than originally anticipated. This clean up effort was graced with a few days of good weather; however, the storm that rocked NW Fla a few days back complicated efforts and currently, the winds are forecast to become strong (20+ kts) and blow from the southeast starting tomorrow and continuing through the weekend, which will continue to push surface oil towards shore.

In addition, a third oil leak in the rise near the top of the blowout preventer on the deep underwater. US Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry, the federal on-scene coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon Response unified command, said that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) now estimates that as much as 5,000 bpd could be flowing from the riser. Initial estimates had put the leak from the well drilled by the sunken Deepwater Horizon at 1,000 bpd.

However, several projects are underway in an attempt to eradicate the oil.

Controlled burns, water skimming, subsurface wellhead intervention operations, dispersant application and extensive booming efforts are underway with the designing of pipework chambers, relief well (although this will not be finished for another 48 hours) and three containment chambers where one has already been created and two are in the process of being completed.

The fumes from the controlled burned are not noxious to the point where they will affect the shorelines. Further, the barrel rate of burning was 100 barrels at a time has now been increased to burning anywhere between 500-1000 barrels at a time so that adds optimism to the clean up effort.

NOAA says the first rig to be used for drilling a relief or cut-off well is on site and should begin drilling approximately a half mile from the well head on Friday 04/30/10. The relief well will not be complete for several months so this is a long term safety measure more as it is being used for immediate relief.

Responders are focusing on new ways to use Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to try to trigger the blowout preventer (BOP), a series of valves that sits at the well head. These efforts will continue concurrent with the collection dome and relief well(s).

NOAA reported that workers finished one of the three containment chamber that will be deployed to the sea floor to collect oil as it escapes from the well. Work will now begin on the piping system that brings the oil to the surface for collection; this method has never been tried at this depth before.

Additionally an enclosure dome solution is on the table. The exact dimensions and design of the dome were still being worked out, but officials said it would be similar to welded steel containment structures called cofferdams that are already used in oil rig construction. Where basically a dome is placed on top of the leak to contain it and then the oil is pumped from that enclosed location.

Meanwhile, more than 174,060 feet of boom (barrier) has been assigned to contain the spill. An additional 243,260 feet is available and 265,460 feet has been ordered for surrounding areas.

The most recent effort to contain the spill will be applied tonight , focusing the dispersant at the point of the riser in an attempt to break up the oil before it floats to the surface.

If the dispersant is not as affective as expected, Louisiana should brace for an oily sheen to coat coastal swamps as early as Friday night with the rest of the Gulf States (More NW Fla than any other part of Florida at this time) on alert for potential impacts of the oil spill.

To report oiled wildlife, please call 1-866-557-1401. Messages will be checked hourly.

To discuss spill related damage, please call 1-800-440-0858.

To report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information, please call 1-866-448-5816.

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