Tuesday, April 20
News broke that an explosion occurred at 11 p.m. EST on BP's Deepwater
Horizon oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico, 52 miles southeast of the Louisiana port of Venice. According to
the Coast Guard, 11 to 15 crewmembers were reported missing, o
f the total 126 workers aboard the
rig at the time of the blast. The rig was drilling, but not in production.
Wednesday, April 22
Helicopters and ships resumed the search for 11 missing workers. The oilrig is
still burning, leaving a huge plume of smok
e that is more than 30 miles long. Later that day, the fire
was extinguished, after which the oilrig sank. The
LA Times reports
that this "could shape up to
one of the worst U.S. offshore oil accidents in a generation."
NASA images of the oil spill
photos of the pluming, boiling black smoke. Environment
al damage is believed to be minimal, due to
the fact that Deepwater Horizon is an exploration rig, as opposed to a production rig.
Monday, April 26
rescue operations have been suspended with 11 people still missing
, while underwa
ter robots have discovered at least two leaks that are dumping an
estimated 1,000 barrels of oil per day in the sea. Officials warn it could take "months" to stop what is
technically a "leak," as opposed to a "spill." Weather keeps oil from moving to coast
, but shrimpers
and oyster farmers begin to fear for the season's catches, as Bluefin tuna spawning season in the
area also encroaches
Wednesday, April 28
Stopping the leak is so technically challenging that experts realize it could take
months. U.S. C
oast Guard was to suggest best possible solution is to set the oil slick on fire. Later,
they do so, releasing a huge plume into the sky.
Thursday, April 29
It is discovered that the leak is not spewing the equivalent of 1,000 barrels of oil
per day, b
ut rather 5,000. By end of day, the oil slick has reached the Mississippi Delta.
Friday, April 30
that "The state departments of
Health and Hospitals
and Environmental Quality said the strong odor blanketing much of coastal Louisiana and the metro
New Orleans area is 'possibly' the result of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico." Meanwhile,
Obama puts a halt on any new offsh
ore drilling and an oil
industry luncheon awarding "offshore
drilling safety" is postpones. BP was reported to be a finalist.
Saturday, May 1st
, a small non
profit, analyzed radar and satellite imagery an
that the oil was leaking much faster than the original official estimates. The initial figure was 1,000
barrels/day, which they successfully challenged with a new estimate of 5,000 barrels/day.
Monday, May 3rd BP is trying to install a shutoff
valve on one of the three underwater leaks, but this
is a complicated operation that might not succeed. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
said the oil slick appears to be drifting toward the Alabama and Florida coasts, including the
ur Islands off Louisiana's southern tip.
Wednesday, May 5th
BP says that it succeeded in
plugging one of the three leaks
, but we're not o
of the woods yet. Tomorrow, if all goes well, they're going to lower a
ton metal containment dome
on one of the other leaks to siphon
Saturday, May 8
The plan to stop one of the oil leaks with a
dome was removed and now BP has to figure out what to do.
Wednesday, May 12th
BP finally decided to release
pictures of the underwater oil leak
independent scientists and engineers to have a look. Executives from BP, Transocean and
Halliburton appear at congressional hearings and blame each other for the f
Friday, May 14th
BP tries to
intubate one of the oil leaks
with a smaller pipe to siphon off the oil.
Meanwhile, many people are starti
ng to wonder if the official estimate of 5,000 barrels/day is
accurate, and if
BP isn't hiding that much more oil is leaking
in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP succeeds in inserting a tube into the leaking riser pile of the well and
capturing some oil and gas, but not that much compared to what is still leaking out.
Monday, May 24th
delaying a "top kill" operation
that could potentially plug the oil well and
stop the flow of oil. Some start to wonder what a
rough hurricane season could mean to the oil clean
Thursday, May 27th
" is finally attempted, and at first it looked like it was working (a U.S.
Coast Guard admiral said as much). But after a few days of efforts,
the "top kill" is abando
. BP will
have to try something else...
Tuesday, June 1st
Contradicting the findings of many scientists,
BP denies the existence of
water oil plumes
. Scientists claim they have found more than one oil plume, one of them "22
miles long, six miles wide and more than a thousand feet deep".
BP CEO, Tony H
ayward, was quoted
saying: ""I'd Like My Life Back"
Wednesday, June 2nd
Some experts say that under a
il leak could last
. Things would have to go really wrong for that to happen, but so far, not much has
Attempts to place a cap over the valves that were meant to prevent the rig from leaking show
signs of success.
BP announces the containment cap is capturing 10,000 barrels of oil a day; approximately
half the total amount being leaked.
Scientists double their estimate of the scale of the spill to 40,000 barrels a day
BP agrees to a $
20 billion down
payment towards compensation for victims of the oil spill.
Hurricane Alex causes heavy seas, disrupting BP's clean
BP begins their latest attempt to seal the leak. Robots remove a leaking cap from the well
allow a replacement containment system to be installed.
With the latest attempt to stem the leak reportedly going well, BP shares rise.
BP successfully installs a new, more tightly fitting containment cap on the ruptured wellhe
The next step is to test the internal pressure in the well to establish whether the flow has been
The BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, is to leave the company, to be replaced by Bob
Dudley, a BP veteran overseeing the clean
Bob Dudley takes over as chief executive of BP following the departure of Tony Hayward.