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Deepwater Horizon Drilling Rig Explosion

An explosion that occurred on the BP ship Deepwater Horizion on April 20, 2010 and resulted in a historically massive oil spill.

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August Status

  • Apr 11, 2011
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By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

April 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill- Mid-August Status

The Skytruth Oil Spill Tracker showed the following improvements from a visual inspection of a map depicting the major areas of the spill with both small and large red dots. During May 2010, there were 3 large red dots on the map in the New Orleans area, 1 large red dot in Sarasota, Florida and a smaller dot just North of Havana.

By August, the initial 3 large dots in the New Orleans area were reduced to much smaller red Padre Island National Seashore - Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle (Wikipedia)dots. The large red dot in Sarasota, Florida was reduced to a smaller one and the small dot just above Havana disappeared. There are still some scattered smaller dots throughout the Gulf region.

John Amos of Skytruth indicated that 1 subsurface of oil washed ashore on Alabama beaches 8-12-2010 nearly 1 month after the well was capped. Currently, BP continues work to finish the relief wells in order to seal the gusher for good.

Scientists from NOAA’s Damage Assessment Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) mobilized resources quickly in the Gulf.  The NOAA team collected data from pre-oiled and oiled natural resources. This information is critical to the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process.

Data collected in the Gulf will help determine whether or not natural resources have been injured and what human uses have been impaired. Once the injuries and losses have been quantified, NOAA and its partners will work to compensate the public by restoring, rehabilitating, or replacing the natural resources damaged by the oil spill.

Work by federal and state partners under the Oil Pollution Act is currently in the preassessment phase to determine whether or not injury to public natural resources has occurred and the extent of the same.

Species with essential fish habitat near the oil spill include: scalloped hammerhead, shortfin mako,  silky, whale, bigeye thresher, longfin mako, and oceanic whitetip sharks; swordfish, white marlin, blue marlin, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, longbill spearfish, and sailfish.  Other important fish in the Gulf include red snapper, grouper, gray triggerfish, red drum, vermilion snapper, greater amberjack, black drum, cobia and dolphin (mahi-mahi), coastal migratory pelagic (open water) species, such as king and Spanish mackerel, and pelagic sharks. Shellfish in the Gulf include oysters and several species of shrimp and crabs.  Of the 28 species of marine mammals known to live in the Gulf of Mexico, all are protected and six (sperm, sei, fin, blue, humpback and North Atlantic right whales) are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

At least four species of threatened/endangered sea turtles (Kemp’s Ridley, green, leatherback, and loggerhead) are residents of the northern Gulf of Mexico and are represented by all life stages. A fifth species, the hawksbill turtle, can be found in the southern Gulf. The only nesting beaches in the world for Kemp’s Ridley turtles are in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Marshes in the Gulf of Mexico provide extremely important habitat for feeding and nesting of several species that can be found in offshore waters, such as royal terns and gulls.  Species of concern include near shore and marsh birds: brown pelican, diving ducks, wading birds, piping plover (a threatened species) and pelagic (open water) birds such as shearwaters, northern gannets, and frigate birds.  Marine mammals, fish, and birds depend on clean, healthy habitats to provide food, shelter, and breeding grounds. These habitats include salt and fresh water marshes, mangroves, mudflats, beaches, coral and shellfish reefs, water column and bottom sediments.  (ADAPTED FROM DARRP, NOAA)

Currently, BP claims that they are doing everything possible. "We continue to seal the Macondo well permanently, clean up the environment, and make sure that people are compensated for legitimate claims." BP Completed a Well Pressure Test with results under review right now.  More than 23k people, 3k vessels & 800 skimmers are at work responding to the oil spill.  Following comprehensive FDA testing, the Louisiana Dept of Wildlife & Fisheries reopened some state waters to fishing.

Offshore Drilling, Disaster Planning Response

After The Cleanup: Future Clean Energy Sources

2011 And Beyond: Contingency Oil Rig Disaster Operations

Oil Spill 2010: Disaster Recovery Plan Needed

Oil Spill 2010: Planning For Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Cleanup

Oil Spill 2010: Clean Up And Recovery Patented Ideas

Joseph S. Maresca Ph.D., CPA, CISA, MBA: His significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences. He holds membership in the prestigious Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society and Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society. 

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More BP Gulf Oil Spill reviews
review by . June 13, 2010
Is this the beginning of an end?!
What is turning out to be a commercial venture becomes a potential catastrophe if not the beginning of an end for the world at large! I'm no petroleum engineer nor am I into anything technical at all. But what I'm gathering from the news and also from citizen journalism out there, well, get ready for the earth to shake!!! And not just in the U.S. too!      For those in the U.S., well, I think you'd better believe God exists! Otherwise, this fooling around with nature …
review by . July 04, 2010
It's incredibly sad to witness a disaster of this magnitude occur out in the gulf. Millions of gallons of oil are ruining our wildlife and our oceans as we speak. On top of this, many fishermen are out of work and peoples' lives were lost when the deepwater horizon exploded. A terrible decision was made on that day to use seawater instead of mud which would allow the drilling to take place at a faster rate at the expense of safety. BP were the ones who made this call and other terrible …
review by . May 29, 2010
Where is the government? Where is the outrage?
This article pertains to the response following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The majority of the blame for the spill itself rests with BP and possibly other contractors involved with the platform where the problem originates.  Instead, I would like to focus on the pending ecological disaster and the slow response of the government to minimize the impact.      Some have compared this disaster to Hurricane Katrina.  President Bush received a great deal of …
Quick Tip by . January 07, 2011
posted in Grist
It's really terrible what happened. How could anyone let this go on for so long with no comforting signs of intervention until so much oil was spilt?
Quick Tip by . January 07, 2011
posted in Grist
It's a shame that so much damage had to be done to the Gulf Coast and the environment while the government and Big Oil stood by scratching their heads. I hope that this will be a lesson to any offshore drilling to be done in the future to have an emergency plan in place.
Quick Tip by . August 02, 2010
An Anthem for the Age of Oil Spills...   (to the tune of Rule, Britannia!)      "Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!   All those execs at BP are knaves!   Oil was spilled, but all for naught.   This one Earth is all we've got!"  
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
British Petroleum is creating the Salton Sea of the ocean.
Quick Tip by . May 25, 2010
I agree completely with Andrewjt's position on this! It is a shame that a solution wasn't thought of for a contingency situation in advance
About the reviewer
Dr Joseph S Maresca ()
Dr. Joseph S. Maresca CPA, CISA      25 Amazon / KDP Books including:      http://www.amazon.com/Dr.Joseph-S.-Maresca/e...11866699&sr=1-2-ent      … more
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About this event


The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion occurred on April 20, 2010 on the semi-submersible offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Type: Oil Spill
Date(s): April 20, 2010
Organization: BP
Venue: Deepwater Horizon

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