Matthew's Feed
Jul 3, 2010

BP under renewed pressure as spill cleanup continues

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – BP’s oil spill clean-up efforts in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico were returning to normal on Saturday, amid a report that some major investors expected the British energy giant to replace its top executives.

BP said its oil-capture systems at its leaking well collected or burned off 25,290 barrels of oil during operations on Friday, as it ramped up spill containment efforts that had been disrupted by Hurricane Alex.

Jul 2, 2010

Tests to start on Gulf oil ‘super skimmer’

BOOTHVILLE, Louisiana, July 1 (Reuters) – A supertanker
converted to operate as a giant oil skimmer will be tested on
Saturday to see if it is ready for use in the Gulf of Mexico
oil spill cleanup.

The 1,100-foot (335 meter)-long ore and oil carrier, owned
by TMT shipping of Taiwan and dubbed the “A Whale,” can collect
500,000 barrels (21 million gallons) per day of contaminated
water, said Chris Coulon, a spokeswoman for the joint incident
command.

Jun 26, 2010

Season’s 1st tropical storm forms near Yucatan

ATLANTA, June 26 (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Saturday near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with the potential to become a hurricane and disrupt efforts to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Jun 25, 2010

Lawyers say shocked over uses of $20 billion Gulf fund

ATLANTA (Reuters) – A $20 billion fund set up by energy giant BP Plc after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill should be used only to compensate victims, lawyers involved in litigation over the disaster said on Thursday.

The lawyers said they were shocked that the fund was also for purposes other than compensating people suffering economic losses from the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Those purposes could include massive clean-up costs and litigation.

Jun 22, 2010

Logistics firm Agility is a fugitive-US prosecutor

ATLANTA, June 22 (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors said Kuwait
logistics company Agility (AGLT.KW: Quote, Profile, Research) is a fugitive from justice
that has defrauded the U.S. military and does not deserve the
right to bring a motion in federal court.

The prosecutors asked a federal court in Atlanta not even
to consider the pretrial motion the company brought in April to
dismiss the case against it on the grounds that it was not
served in the correct legal manner.

May 25, 2010

Scientists to study deepwater Gulf “oil plume”

PORT FOURCHON, Louisiana (Reuters) – U.S. scientists will embark on a second mission on Tuesday to investigate whether a catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill is damaging deepwater marine life and the surrounding environment.

Samantha Joye, a University of Georgia marine sciences professor who is part of the research team, said the two-week government-funded mission will focus on a plume of dispersed oil that she says is from the leaking BP undersea well.

May 25, 2010

Scientists to study deepwater Gulf "oil plume"

, May 25 (Reuters) – U.S. scientists will embark on a second mission on Tuesday to investigate whether a catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill is damaging deepwater marine life and the surrounding environment.

Samantha Joye, a University of Georgia marine sciences professor who is part of the research team, said the two-week government-funded mission will focus on a plume of dispersed oil that she says is from the leaking BP <BP.L> undersea well.

The plume, which is roughly 20 miles (32 km) long, six miles (10 km) wide, and 100 feet (30 meters) thick, was discovered by the R.V. Pelican, a research ship, on its first mission.

Tests showed that about 30 percent of the oxygen in the plume has been depleted, which could threaten marine life — mussels, clams, crabs, eels, jellyfish, shrimp and even sharks.

"It appears to be radiating from the spill site, so that’s why we think it’s a mixture of emulsified or dispersed oil, little oil fragments that are generated by the actual eruption of the fluid from the sea floor," Joye said in an interview with Reuters.

She said she was "99.8 percent sure" the plume, first spotted as "deep hydrographic anomalies", was spill-related and said it was quite possible that other, smaller, plumes existed.

"We need to go out there and track and map the plume features and see how they are changing with time. Is oxygen dropping and if so, how fast? Is it microbial activity that is causing that," Joye said.

Another unknown is the exact composition of the plume and the extent to which dispersants, sprayed and pumped into the water by BP to break up the oil, were changing its chemistry, she said.

London-based BP says it could try on Wednesday to shut off the well that has caused a major U.S. ecological disaster, threatening fishing communities in four states, and has also stirred a political storm since it blew out last month.

‘DEAD ZONE’ IN WATER?

Eleven scientists from universities in Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and California will embark on the Pelican, which will depart from Gulfport, Mississippi and join six other research vessels working in the Gulf.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has five such vessels in the area.

NOAA, a federal agency, said the Pelican mission’s initial findings were premature, in what some critics said appeared to be part of a concerted effort to play down the environmental impact of the leak.

BP for weeks also maintained that determining the precise rate at which oil was gushing into the sea mattered little compared to its efforts to stop the flow, leading to criticism that it was trying to avoid accountability for what could be the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

Images of oil washing onto beaches and coating entire islands in Louisiana’s fragile wetlands, as well as those of birds covered in oil, have highlighted the environmental threat posed by the leak.

But undersea damage, though it remains invisible, could be equally costly, according to Joye.

One likely cause of the depleted oxygen in the plume is the increased activity of microorganisms chewing up the oil and gas in the water, and the danger is the creation of an anoxic, or dead, zone in the water.

"That would kill anything that can’t run from it," said Joye, who said the scientists are racing to catch up with what was effectively a lost first month after the leak began.

Little if any light penetrates at depths of 2,625-4,593 feet (800-1,400 meters) where the plume is located. A further planned voyage in August and September will try to determine how far the plume has affected the food web.

(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Paul Simao)





May 25, 2010

Memorial planned for rig victims; BP readies plan

, May 25 (Reuters) – The 11 victims of last
month’s deadly offshore rig explosion will be honored at a
memorial service on Tuesday as BP Plc prepares for a crucial
attempt to seal a blown-out well that has spewed oil into the
Gulf of Mexico for five weeks.

The U.S. government piled pressure on BP on Monday to clean
up the “massive environmental mess” and a top official said
fines would be imposed on the energy giant for the spreading
oil spill.

May 25, 2010

U.S. keeps “boot on neck” of BP over spill

GALLIANO, Louisiana (Reuters) – The U.S. government piled pressure on BP Plc on Monday to clean up a “massive environmental mess” in the Gulf of Mexico, and a top official said fines would definitely be imposed on the energy giant for the spreading oil spill.

The company insisted it was doing all it could to try to seal a blown-out oil well spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf every day, a disaster that threatens to become the worst U.S. oil spill in history.

May 25, 2010

US government keeps “boot on neck” of BP over spill

, May 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. government piled
pressure on BP Plc on Monday to clean up a “massive
environmental mess” in the Gulf of Mexico, and a top official
said fines would definitely be imposed on the energy giant for
the spreading oil spill.

The company insisted it was doing all it could to try to
seal a blown-out oil well spewing hundreds of thousands of
gallons (litres) of oil into the Gulf every day, a disaster
that threatens to become the worst U.S. oil spill in history.