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, of 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 smoke that is more than 30 miles long. Later that day, the fire

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Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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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

be
one of the worst U.S. offshore oil accidents in a generation."
NASA images of the oil spill

show aerial
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
-

Search
-
and
-
rescue operations have been suspended with 11 people still missing

(they died)
, 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
-

The
Times
-
Picayune reports

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
-

SkyTruth
, a small non
-
profit, analyzed radar and satellite imagery an
d estimated
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
Chandele
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
ut
of the woods yet. Tomorrow, if all goes well, they're going to lower a
100
-
ton metal containment dome

on one of the other leaks to siphon
the oil.



Saturday, May 8
-

The plan to stop one of the oil leaks with a
containment dome

was a
failure
. The
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
, allowing
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
iasco.



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.



Sunday, May
16th
-

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
-

BP keeps
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
up operations
.



Thursday, May 27th
-

The "
top kill
" 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
ned
. BP will
have to try something else...



Tuesday, June 1st
-

Contradicting the findings of many scientists,
BP denies the existence of
under
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
worst
-
case

scenario,
the o
il leak could last
until Christmas
. Things would have to go really wrong for that to happen, but so far, not much has
gone right.



4 June
-

Attempts to place a cap over the valves that were meant to prevent the rig from leaking show
signs of success.



6

June
-

BP announces the containment cap is capturing 10,000 barrels of oil a day; approximately
half the total amount being leaked.



12 June
-

Scientists double their estimate of the scale of the spill to 40,000 barrels a day



16 June
-

BP agrees to a $
20 billion down
-
payment towards compensation for victims of the oil spill.


30 June
-

Hurricane Alex causes heavy seas, disrupting BP's clean
-
up efforts.



11 July
-

BP begins their latest attempt to seal the leak. Robots remove a leaking cap from the well
, to
allow a replacement containment system to be installed.



12 July
-

With the latest attempt to stem the leak reportedly going well, BP shares rise.



13 July
-

BP successfully installs a new, more tightly fitting containment cap on the ruptured wellhe
ad.
The next step is to test the internal pressure in the well to establish whether the flow has been
stopped.



26 July
-

The BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, is to leave the company, to be replaced by Bob
Dudley, a BP veteran overseeing the clean
-
up.



1 October
-

Bob Dudley takes over as chief executive of BP following the departure of Tony Hayward.