News / USA

BP Hopes to Contain Main Oil Leak in Gulf Soon

TEXT SIZE - +

BP oil company officials say they hope to have in place by the end of the week a massive structure designed to stop the principal underwater oil leak that is fouling the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil company says the 98-ton structure would collect the oil from the largest of the three leaks and send it through a pipe to the surface where it can be collected on a barge.

The company says it has never attempted such a containment at a depth of more than 1,500 meters, and cannot guarantee that the effort will be successful.

Meanwhile, lighter winds and calmer waters have aided efforts to contain the oil spill that continues to threaten the southern U.S. coastline with severe environmental damage.

Officials say the favorable weather could slow the spread of the slick and make containment efforts more effective.

The U.S Coast Guard says 170 vessels, and nearly 7,500 personnel are involved in the cleanup efforts, with an additional 2,000 volunteers assisting.  It says more than 148,000 meters of boom have been deployed in an effort to block oil from reaching the shore.

The Harte Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies reports the spill is threatening to damage the region's $1.6 billion in annual economic activity, including commercial fishing, sport fishing and tourism.

The oil rig exploded April 20 and sank two days later.  Eleven workers were killed.

BP says it will pay for all the cleanup costs from the ruptured oil well.  The company says it will pay compensation for legitimate claims for property damage and commercial losses stemming from the accident.

BP also says efforts to seal the leak include construction of a relief well that could take about three months to drill.

Chemical dispersants are also being pumped down to the source of the leak in an effort to keep the oil from flowing to the surface. So far, more 590,000 liters of dispersant have been applied to the spill.   

U.S. President Barack Obama visited Louisiana on Sunday and laid the blame for the leak on BP.  President Obama has promised that the U.S. government will do "whatever it takes, for as long as it takes" to clean up the spill.

Government officials say the oil slick is creeping toward the Mississippi and Louisiana shores.  It closed in on the marshlands of Louisiana last week.

Some U.S. senators also have introduced legislation to increase the amount of money big oil companies can be forced to pay for economic damages stemming from catastrophic spills.  The law currently caps liability limits at $75 million, but the proposal would increase the figure to $10 billion.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid