Trouble in the deep sea
20 April – At 10 PM, an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig, licensed to energy giant BP, in the Gulf of Mexico. There were 126 people on board at the time. Fifteen of those were injured and eleven died.
22 April – A second explosion caused the Deepwater Horizon to sink into the Gulf of Mexico at 10:22 AM, taking with it a riser pipe which remained attached to the blowout preventer. Read more.
Aerial photo of Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning
24 April – Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) inspected the capsized rig on the sea floor and found two oil leaks from the well pipe along the sea floor (at a depth of approximately 5,000 feet).
Oil leaks from the drill pipe of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig after it sank - image provided by U.S. Coast Guard
25 April – Efforts to activate the well’s blowout preventer fail (Ch4) and the Coast Guard released the below diagram to explain the situation.
Diagram explaining Gulf Coast disaster - provided by the U.S. Coast Guard
28 April – U.S. Coast Guard warns oil spill could be worst in history increasing estimate to 5,000 barrels a day – five times greater than initial estimates.
29 April – Oil washes up on the beaches of the Mississippi Delta.
30 April – U.S. government rules that there will be no drilling in new areas until the cause of the accident is known. Read more.
2 May – BP began drilling the first deep-water intercept relief well to attempt to intercept the wellbore 16,000 feet below the sea floor – a process which could take months. Read more. Meanwhile, animals are being washed up on shores such as this sea turtle.
Dead sea turtle washes up on Mississippi beach
5 May – BP announced that it had stopped the flow of oil from one of the three existing leak points on the damaged oil well and riser in the Gulf of Mexico. The total amount of oil gushing into the Gulf, however, remains the same. BP made plans to deploy the cofferdam, a 125-ton, 14’ x 24’ x 40’ structure to be set over the end of the riser. Read more.
Containment vessel is lowered into the Gulf of Mexico
6 May – Oil reaches the shores of the Chandeleur Islands off the Louisiana coast.
Oil washes ashore onto New Harbor Island, LA
7 May – BP’s “Top Hat” attempt to place a dome over the well fails.
9 May – BP sends a second, smaller (2-ton) ‘Top Hat’ to place a dome over the well.
12 May – BP hires many workers to clean up the oil by hand using absorbent towels and other materials. Some are paid to literally wipe the oil off the blades of grass. Their hard work and commitment is evident, but the act itself seems futile.
Hired workers clean up oil in Louisiana
16 May – A riser insertion tube tool (RITT) was successfully tested and inserted into the leaking riser, capturing some oil and gas. BP estimates that it is currently capturing slightly more than 2,000 barrels per day, but that amount varies greatly day to day.
17 May – A second drill rig, Transocean’s Development Driller II, began drilling a second relief well. Current flow charts show that oil is shifting to the East Coast of Florida and will likely impact the East Coast.
Flow chart displaying oil is likely to spread
18 May – U.S. doubles its no-fishing zone to 19% of U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Read more.
20 May – BP launches a live camera of the leak after being heavily pressured to do so, as its containment rate drops to 2,000 barrels a day. Read more.
A live feed is now available online to view the oil leak after BP received heavy criticism and pressure
24 May – Approximately 65.6 miles of Louisiana shoreline have been impacted by oil. Protestors storm BP headquarters in Houston, TX.
Protestors rally in front of BP headquarters in Houston, TX covered in fake oil
SkyTruth satellite image used to estimate oil spill
25 May – Elmers Island in Louisiana awaits pick up for several bags and booms of oil.
26 May – BP starts its ‘Top Kill’ operation to block the oil well with heavy mud and debris. Read more.
29 May – BP CEO, Tony Hayward, makes his first trip to the Gulf. Protestors receive a multitude of alternate BP logos featured below.
30 May – BP’s ‘Top Kill’ plan fails. Read more.
4 June – BP fits a containment cap onto the well using remote control robots. Read more.
6 June – BP says it has captured 10,500 barrels of oil in the last 24 hours. The sites of dead fish, animals and impacted environment are devastating.
9 June – White House demands BP cover all costs of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico including millions of dollars in salaries of workers laid off as a result. BP common stock value has been halved since the day of the explosion dropping from slightly above 60 to below 30.
10 June – After BP finally released a higher resolution video of the leak, researchers revised estimate of the leak to 20,000 – 40,000 barrels a day – BP initially told the public the spill was 1,000 barrels/day. The blue dots are areas which have been affected in some way from the oil spill so far.
11 June – U.S. has spent over $140 Million in cleaning up the oil spill.
15 June – Government scientists revise estimate of oil spill to between 35,000 – 60,000 barrels per day. This translates to 1.5 – 2.5 Million gallons per day. Exxon Valdez spill is easily dwarfed by this new estimate.
15 June – President Obama used his first Oval Office address to the nation to detail a plan for the Gulf disaster and ensure BP’s financial and environmental responsibility.
16 June – Executives from five of the world’s largest oil companies are blasted for having “cookie-cutter” contingency plans for disaster situations. President Obama to meet with BP top executives – over eight weeks after the explosion took place. Read more.
We will soon post several hard facts about this disaster, BP, response times, etc. to provide truth and clarity to this horrible situation that has been filled with lies and PR spins.
19 June – BP’s chief officer, Tony Hayward, is seen on his boat during a yacht race at the Isle of Wight. Read more.
BP CEO Tony Hayward seen on boat during yacht race
22 June – The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling has appointed Richard Lazarus, a graduate of Harvard University Law School as its staff director. One of the goals is to determine what new regulations will govern future deepwater drilling operations. Read more.
22 June – In response to a suit by Hornbeck Offshore Services joined by 20 other companies, Judge Martin Feldman of the US District Court in New Orleans yesterday granted an injunction against the President’s moratorium on further exploration for deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for a period of six months. Read more.
23 June – BP managing director, Bob Dudley is replacing Tony Hayward as president and CEO of BP’s newly formed Gulf Coast Restoration Organization. He will report to company CEO Tony Hayward who was previously in charge of the organization. Read more.
23 June – Robot bumps into vent causing BP to remove the containment cap, temporarily allowing anyone watching the live feed to see the true gusher. This is not a spill or a leak. This is a geyser.
Screenshot taken from live feed at 2:10PM EST
References include Newsweek, SkyTruth, New York Times, Active Rain, ABC news, CNN, Inhabitat, Washington Post, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Before It’s News, MSNBC, Nola, CBS news
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