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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid