BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Slick: Blow by Blow, Twist by Turn

News of the oil slick at British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, off of the coast of Louisiana, just keeps getting worse doesn’t it?
Last Thursday, April 22, reports talked of emotional reunions between stranded rig workers and their respective families, and said that although those 11 people (now presumed dead) were missing, the rescue effort was due to continue until every iota of hope had been exhausted.

By Monday April 26, BP hauled in Development Driller III; the secondary rig intended to assist in the clean-up alongside what remained of the burning Deepwater Horizon.

“We are attacking this spill on two fronts — at the wellhead and on the surface offshore,” Tony Hayward, CEO for BP, told press as news emerged that 400 square-miles was now festooned by the leaking oil.

“The team on the ground and those at sea have the group’s full resources behind them.”

This was about the point where hopes for recovering the missing 11 alive began to fade, and by Tuesday, April 27, the news continued to reveal equally gloomy developments. BP posted US$5.6 billion cost profits for the first quarter 2010, a fantastic surging result on the US$2.4 billion for 2009, however unfortunately swathed by the tragedy which continued to unfold. Speculation swirled over how these sorts of profit increases might suffer under the weight of the accident.

On Wednesday April 28, the notion of controlled burning or, “setting the sea on fire,” sparked off and investigations as to whether this might be the answer BP are looking for began. Unfortunately the next day, on Thursday April 29, damning aerial photographs revealed that a second leak existed, capable of making the accident five times worse than originally thought. The United States Coastguard announced that 5,000 barrels per day are flowing into the offshore location.

Today, the weight of a fortnight of tragic and trying news is on BP’s shoulders. Industries spokespeople are voicing their deep concerns (if they haven’t already) and what was originally deemed to be a terrible, yet containable, accident, now appears to have truly taken on a life of its own.

It appears that there’s no knowing if, and when, some semblance of a conclusion will take place. Latest reports state that the oil has shown up on shore around the mouth of the Mississippi river. It is time to question just how terrible and far-reaching this accident might prove to be, as the time for denial and down-playing has long passed.

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