News / USA

US Oil Spill Moves West, Gulf of Mexico Leak Remains Uncapped

This visible image of the Gulf oil slick was taken on May 9, 2010
This visible image of the Gulf oil slick was taken on May 9, 2010

U.S. officials say an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is drifting west as emergency crews struggle to stop the flow from an underwater well.  Teams are preparing new techniques to cap the leak.

U.S. officials said last week they feared the oil slick could move east, threatening beaches in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.  But the latest weather data show the slick is moving in the opposite direction, toward western parts of Louisiana and the state of Texas.

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry says clean-up teams have been deployed to those areas, including Grand Isle in Louisiana.

"The latest trajectories indicate landfall may also occur on Grand Isle," said Admiral Landry. "And we have already moved to put booms to protect this area.  We have teams out there to minimize the impact.  That has always been our goal to minimize the impact of the spill."

In recent days, the oil slick has reached parts of Chandeleur Island in Louisiana, which is home to a variety of birds and other wildlife.  Hundreds of tar balls have washed ashore on nearby Dauphin Island, Alabama, where clean-up crews were deployed over the weekend.

Engineers for the BP oil company say they are pursuing several techniques to stop the leak, which started after an oil rig exploded and sank last month.  The latest effort involved placing a huge concrete and steel box on the sea floor to siphon oil into a surface ship.  Company representatives say the move failed because ice-like crystals blocked the flow into the pipeline.

BP's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, says the company hopes to deploy a smaller dome later this week to stop the flow.

"We continue to pursue multiple paths," said Doug Suttles. "This is a very challenging environment to operate in, and we'll continue to pursue every option available to us until such time we bring this thing under control and stop the flow."

Suttles says methods to disperse oil in the water appear to be effective at limiting the visible signs of the oil.  He says clean-up crews have burned more than two million liters of oil on the water's surface, and ships have skimmed nearly 16 million liters of oily water.

On Tuesday, U.S. officials are set to open public hearings in New Orleans to investigate what caused the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drill rig, and the leak that followed.  BP has defended against speculation that the rig did not have the necessary back-up systems to contain a leak.

Lars Herbst, regional director of the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which oversees oil exploration on the continental shelf, says that so far there is no evidence that the drill ship, operated by Transocean, Ltd., was at fault.

"In fact, it did have all of the backup systems you would normally find," said Lars Herbst. "The accident investigation panel will be critical at looking into each one of those systems and determining why they didn't function as they should have."

Also on Tuesday, the head of BP's U.S. operations is set to appear before two Senate committees in Washington.  Some lawmakers say the leak shows the need for tighter regulation of off-shore oil operations.  

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid