Oil Spill Update: Hitch with Plugging Leak; Obama Extends Drilling Moratorium; Wildlife Deaths on the Rise; BP Saw Warning Signs
It’s been 37 days since the first explosion hit the Deepwater Horizon oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. After a month of waiting for the slick to hit land, in the last week oil has begun washing up on more and more of the coast, claiming a growing number of wildlife victims and taxing response efforts. This morning S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, head of the MMS, resigned under pressure.
Here’s the latest news on the Gulf oil spill:
No explanation was given as to why officials created the impression that pumping was underway Thursday morning. "The engineers also said that the problem they encountered was not entirely unexpected, and that they believed they would ultimately succeed," The New York Times reports.
From The New York Times:
|A technician at the BP command center said that pumping of the fluid had to be stopped temporarily while engineers were revising their plans, and that the company hoped to resume pumping by midnight, if federal officials approved.|
|In its briefing to congressional committees, BP said that crews noticed unusual pressure and fluid readings that should have alerted them not to remove heavy drilling lubricants known from the well — a move that apparently allowed a sudden upwelling of gas that led to the explosion and sinking of the rig about 50 miles from the Louisiana coast.
Company executives and top drill hands on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig argued for hours about how to proceed before a BP official made the decision to remove heavy drilling fluid from the well and replace it with lighter weight seawater that was unable to prevent gas from surging to the surface and exploding.