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Developments in the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Source: Reuters 7/7/2010, Location: North America

Here are some developments in BP Plc's Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history. BP ruled out a share issue and talk persisted of sovereign wealth fund interest in the British oil major, boosting its shares on Tuesday even as its Gulf of Mexico oil slick spread to the Texas coast.

- The first of two relief wells seen as the most promising way to plug the leak is close to its target but drilling will be slow and precise in coming weeks, the U.S. official overseeing the spill response said.

- Energy traders are watching two tropical weather systems that have potential to disrupt BP's clean-up of its massive spill.

Market Impact/Companies
- BP shares traded in New York rose nearly 7 percent on Tuesday, while its London shares climbed 3 percent.

- BP shares had lost around half their value since the spill started after an oil rig exploded in the Gulf in late April. Politics/Policy

- The Obama administration expects to announce a revised deep-water offshore drilling moratorium in the next few days, the White House said.

- The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to eliminate limits on liability oil companies would face for oil spill damages. The measure now goes before the full Senate. It would also need to win passage in the House of Representatives before becoming law.

- Bipartisan lawmakers on Friday sought tax breaks for mostly small businesses in Gulf states to help cushion the economic blow.

Environment
- Initial tests of the dispersant BP is using to break up oil in the Gulf of Mexico show it does not harm endocrine systems in aquatic life, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

- Environmental groups, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard reached tentative agreement on a plan allowing biologists or other trained wildlife observers to accompany oil-incineration vessels at sea to remove as many turtles as possible from designated areas before burning starts.

- The spill's toll on birds is set to get drastically worse, scientists say.

Capture/Containment/Cleanup
- Tests on a supertanker adapted to skim large quantities of oily water from the Gulf of Mexico surface are inconclusive because of high seas, ship owner TMT Shipping Offshore said on Monday.

- BP Plc said on Tuesday that its oil-capture systems at the leak in the Gulf of Mexico collected or burned off 24,980 barrels of oil on Monday.

- An undetermined amount of oil continued to billow out from under the containment cap and through vents on top into the sea. A team of U.S. scientists estimate the leak is gushing up to 60,000 barrels a day.

Special Report
- A nuclear fix to the leaking well has been touted online and in the occasional newspaper op-ed for weeks now. Washington has repeatedly dismissed the idea and BP execs say they are not considering an explosion -- nuclear or otherwise.

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Related Categories: Ecological & Environmental  Emissions Measuring  Environment Management, Consultancy  Environmental Services  General  Hazardous Waste Management  Oil Spill & Emergency Response  Safety Services  Waste Disposal 

Related Articles: Ecological & Environmental  Emissions Measuring  Environment Management, Consultancy  Environmental Services  General  Oil Spill & Emergency Response  Safety Services  Waste Disposal 


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