New Orleans, La. – BP says 2,000 boats are contracted in its Vessels of Opportunity program that uses out-of-work fishing boats in the spill clean-up. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says even if the blown-out well is killed next month by a relief well, there are still hundreds of thousands of oil patches on the water.
New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft says oil is getting harder to spot from flights he's taking over the Gulf. The New Orleans-area response commander says they originally thought this weekend's storm would contribute to the oil dissipating but .
"It moved through pretty quickly so it didn't have a chance to build up those high sea states. The wind really never got over 30 knots. And so what we're seeing is just the natural breakdown of this particular grade of crude oil."
New Orleans, La. – Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says plans call for strengthening the relief well, then pumping mud down through the containment cap in a procedure called a static kill. The relief well is designed to then seal it off permanently from the bottom. Allen says preparations will continue through mid-week, with timelines set for the next steps.
New Orleans, La. – Leaving lines of floating barriers around marshland may be discontinued. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says it's a lesson learned from preparations made ahead of the weekend storm.
"If you leave boom unattended in a very sensitive area and there's a high surge, sometimes just the mechanical action of the boom itself being dragged over the marshes may be something that's not desirable."
New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says pressure readings and seismic tests indicate the broken well line is intact. He says it should be able to handle heavy mud that will be pumped down through the containment cap in the next few days in a process called a static kill. The ultimate solution remains the relief well killing the broken well from the bottom, which is expected by the middle of next month.
New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says the intricate process of reassembling the drilling operation in the Gulf is now underway. He says ships have their own schedules for getting away from a storm, and coming back on line.