Coast Guard Approves Plan to Further Inspect Deepwater Horizon Oil Sheen

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NEW ORLEANS, La. – British Petroleum and Transocean have received approval from the U.S. Coast Guard to proceed with another investigation of the Deepwater Horizon wreckage and wellhead site in the Gulf of Mexico with Remotely Operated Vehicles after a sheen was reported on November 2 and verified by satellite imagery.

A joint plan to determine the source of a surface sheen was submitted by the companies on November 9 for review by the Coast Guard. The plan calls for ROV’s to inspect potential sources of oil in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead and rig wreckage to address the sheen that persists in the area two years after the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, according to a press release from the Deepwater Horizon Incident
Joint Information Center.

The mission is scheduled to commence on 3 December under Coast Guard oversight. Captain Duke Walker, federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, tasked BP and Transocean with developing a comprehensive array of options for permanent remediation of oil that could still be contained within wreckage in the vicinity of the original Deepwater Horizon incident.

Another sheen was discovered on September 16, and BP undertook ROV operations in October only to discover that the containment dome was leaking oil again. The ROV operation was conducted to cap containment dome leaks.

No further oil emissions from the containment dome were observed after the cap and plugs were put in place, according to the Coast Guard. Video, taken Oct. 25, displaying the capping of the containment dome and plugging of the connection ports on the sides and top of the structure.

This video taken on Thursday, October 25, 2012 shows the successful capping of the cofferdam and plugging of the connection ports on the sides and top of the structure. The cap and plugs were successfully put in place and no further oil emissions from the containment dome were observed.

ROV video Part 2

“The Gulf Coast Incident Management Team remains committed to the continued cleanup of the Gulf Coast and all shorelines affected as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion,” according to the press release. All oil is being removed “where it is technologically feasible, environmentally beneficial and safe for workers to perform recovery operations.”

To report pollution incidents, the public can contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. In the event of any marine emergencies, the public can contact the Coast Guard 8th District command center at 504-589-6225.

© 2012, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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