Photo Of The Day

Photo: REUTERS Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this photograph taken on April 21, 2010. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and spewed oil for 87 straight days, soaked hundreds of miles of Gulf Coast shoreline in caramel-colored oil. Picture taken April 21, 2010.

Photo: REUTERS
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this photograph taken on April 21, 2010. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and spewed oil for 87 straight days, soaked hundreds of miles of Gulf Coast shoreline in caramel-colored oil. 

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon reportedly started at 9:45 p.m. CST on April 20, 2010. Survivors described the incident as a sudden explosion that gave them less than five minutes to escape as the alarm went off. Video of the fire shows billowing flames, taller than a multistory building.  After burning for more than a day, Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, 2010.

At the time of the explosion there were 126 people aboard the Deepwater Horizon platform; of these, 115 individuals were evacuated. Most of the workers took diesel-powered fiberglass lifeboats to the M/V Damon B Bankston, a workboat that BP had hired to service the rig; some were then lifted from the workboat by helicopter to regional trauma centers. The United States Coast Guard launched a rescue operation involving two cutters, four helicopters and a rescue plane.

BP was the principal developer of the Macondo Prospect oil field where the accident occurred. The Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd., was under a contract with BP to drill an exploratory well. BP was the lessee and principal developer of the Macondo Prospect oil field in which the rig was operating. At the time of the explosion, BP and Transocean were in the process of closing the well in anticipation of later production. Halliburton had recently completed cementing casings in the well.

The U.S. Government has named BP as the responsible party in the incident and will hold the company accountable for all cleanup costs resulting from the oil spill. BP has accepted responsibility for the oil spill and the cleanup costs but indicated that the accident was not their fault as the rig was run by Transocean personnel.

The sinking of the platform caused crude oil to gush out of the riser — the 5,000-foot pipe that connects the well at the ocean floor to the drilling platform on the surface. Attempts to shut down the flow, first estimated at about 1,000 barrels of oil a day, failed when a safety device called a blowout preventer could not be activated. On April 28, 2010 government officials said there were three leaks and the well was spilling over 5,000 barrels of oil a day — over 200,000 gallons — nearly a mile below sea level.

The exact spill flow rate is uncertain and is part of an ongoing debate. Some independent estimates made in the initial days of the accident put the spill rate in the range of 20,000 to 100,000 barrels per day. By May 22, one month after the Deepwater Horizon sank, a spill rate of 5,000 barrels per day would have released about 150,000 barrels; a spill rate of 100,000 barrels per day would have released about 3.2 million barrels.

 Full story: http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/deepwater-horizon-oil-spill/

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to daily code cracker?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

61%