Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) Cap
The LMRP Cap preparation work and installation is proceeding as planned. Today the riser is being cut. The LMRP Cap will be in place later in the week. To help understand this process, view the following videos:
LMRP cap being stored on the sea floor in a staging area
Details describing the cutting of the riser
Rigging slings around the riser in preparation for its removal
Fitting of the Diamond Blade saw on the Riser kink
Shear Cutter in place for cutting the riser
Finally, a big positive step in the latest tactic to stop the flow of oil from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s an update on:
- “Cut and Cap” procedure in full bloom to redirect oil flow.
- Florida beaches ready for sheen to come ashore Friday.
- Wildlife death toll amid of BP’s spreading disaster.
BIG PROGRESS IN “CUT AND CAP” PROCEDURE AT SPILL SITE: The White House point man for the BP Gulf of Mexico oil-spill disaster,Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, told The Washington Post that BP had successfully sliced off a pipe in an effort to contain the Gulf oil, and that the cap was over the gusher and expected to be lowered in the next couple of hours this morning. Adm. Allen said on the NBC “Today” show the cap would be made later Thursday.
He warned that the cut is irregular and will make place the cap a bit more challenging.
According to The Post, BP PLC planned to use giant shears to cut a pipe a mile below the sea after a diamond-tipped saw became stuck halfway through the job, another frustrating delay in six weeks of failed efforts to stop or at least curtail the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
Once the riser pipe is cut, BP hopes to cap it and start pumping some crude to a surface tanker, which would reduce but not end the spill.
The next chance for stopping the flow won’t come until two relief wells meant to plug the reservoir for good are finished in August, after an effort to staunch the gusher with heavy mud failed Saturday.This is BP’s latest attempt to contain the oil, of which all have failed. Sadly, the best chance to plug the leak is still two months away when BP complete drilling alternative wells and diverting the gushing oil.
From Pensacola, Fla., BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward told The Financial Times it was “an entirely fair criticism” to say the company had not been fully prepared for a deepwater oil leak. Hayward called it a “low-probability, high-impact” accident. He said the oil giant was unprepared to fight a catastrophic deepwater oil spill just as engineers were forced yet again to reconfigure plans for executing their latest gambit to control the Gulf of Mexico gusher.
“What is undoubtedly true is that we did not have the tools you would want in your tool-kit,” Hayward said in an interview published in Thursday’s edition of the London-based newspaper.
The latest attempt to control the spill, the so-called cut-and-cap method, is considered risky because slicing away a section of the 20-inch-wide riser could remove kinks in the pipe and temporarily increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent.
FLORIDA PANHANDLE FACES OIL SHEEN COMING ASHORE IN 72 HOURS: Oil drifted perilously close to the Florida Panhandle’s popular sugar-white beaches, and crews on the mainland were doing everything possible to limit the catastrophe. The forecast calls for oil to come ashore Friday on the Redneck River, threatening a delicate network of islands, bays and white-sand beaches that are a haven for wildlife and tourists.
As the edge of the slick drifted within seven miles of Pensacola’s beaches, emergency workers rushed to link the last in a miles-long chain of booms designed to fend off the oil. They were slowed by thunderstorms and wind before the weather cleared in the afternoon.
Florida’s beaches play a crucial role in the state’s tourism industry. At least 60 percent of vacation spending in the state during 2008 was in beachfront cities.
“We are doing what we can do, but we cannot change what has happened,” said John Dosh, emergency director for Escambia County, according to The Post.
DEATH TOLL FROM OIL SPILL: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported 522 dead birds – at least 38 of them oiled – along the Gulf coast states, and more than 80 oiled birds have been rescued. It’s not clear exactly how many of the deaths can be attributed to the spill.
Dead birds and animals found during spills are kept as evidence in locked freezers until investigations and damage assessments are complete, according to Teri Frady, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
“This includes strict chain-of-custody procedures and long-term locked storage until the investigative and damage assessment phases of the spill are complete,” she wrote in an e-mail.
As the oil drifted closer to Florida, beachgoers in Pensacola waded into the gentle waves, cast fishing lines and sunbathed, even as a two-man crew took water samples. One of the men said they were hired by BP to collect samples to be analyzed for tar and other pollutants.
A few feet away, Martha Feinstein, 65, of Milton, Fla., pondered the fate of the beach she has been visiting for years. “You sit on the edge of your seat and you wonder where it’s going,” she said. “It’s the saddest thing.”
Officials said the slick sighted offshore consisted in part of “tar mats” about 500 feet by 2,000 feet in size.
County officials set up the booms to block oil from reaching inland waterways but planned to leave beaches unprotected because they are too difficult to defend against the action of the waves and because they are easier to clean up.
“It’s inevitable that we will see it on the beaches,” said Keith Wilkins, deputy chief of neighborhood and community services for Escambia County.