Cleanup to resume at US oil spillJuly 25th, 2010 - 7:28 am ICT by IANS
Washington, July 25 (DPA) Ships will be able to return to the Gulf of Mexico within hours to continue siphoning oil from the BP Plc spill, a spokesman for cleanup coordinators said Saturday.
The deicision came as an approaching storm continued to weaken, before it dissipated altogether later in the day.
“Tropical depression Bonnie is much weaker than expected,” he told DPA.
By early Saturday evening, the former tropical storm had become “a disorganised area of low pressure” and all coastal storm watches and warnings had been called off, the National Hurricane Centre in Miami said.
Almost all ships and platforms had left the spill area Friday as the storm known as Bonnie neared, with only two vessels staying behind to monitor the well.
Bonnie, which was expected to reach the US coast between the states of Louisiana and Alabama Saturday night, now has sustained winds of only 45 km per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.
The spill continued to make headlines Saturday, with the New York Times newspaper reporting that the emergency alarm on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was not fully activated the day it exploded in April, setting off the environmental catastrophe.
“They did not want people woke up at 3 am from false alarms,” the rig’s chief electronics technician, Mike Williams, Friday told a government panel investigating the explosion, the paper said.
Williams survived the ensuing fire and sinking of the rig by jumping into the water. Eleven other people died.
The alarm did not sound during the emergency, leaving workers to relay information through loudspeakers to the 126 people on the oil rig, the paper said.
It quoted Williams as saying that the lack of a fully functioning alarm hampered the effort to safely evacuate the rig.
BP also said it will start deep-water drilling off the coast of Libya within weeks.
“Drilling will begin in the next few weeks,” spokesman David Nicholas told DPA, confirming a report in the Financial Times.
The move comes despite concerns about BP’s safety and environmental record, following the spill in the Gulf of Mexico after an oil rig that had been drilling a well for BP exploded in April.
BP purchased the rights to explore for oil in Libya’s Gulf of Sirte three years ago.
US authorities have accused BP of lobbying for the release of the Lockerbie bomber so it could begin drilling off Libya and the Senate is set to hold hearings on the matter Thursday.
The bomber, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, was set free last year from a prison in Scotland and returned to his native Libya.
- US allows BP to drill new Gulf deepwater wells - Oct 22, 2011
- BP to begin deep-water drilling off coast of Libya - Jul 24, 2010
- BP to install tighter cap on oil well - Jul 10, 2010
- BP seeks to resume drilling in Gulf of Mexico - Apr 04, 2011
- President Obama orders probe to prevent future drilling disasters - May 22, 2010
- BP to pay $7.8 bn to victims of oil spill - Mar 05, 2012
- US to lease out Gulf of Mexico chunk for oil drilling - Jan 27, 2012
- Transocean gives bonuses for 'safety' after Gulf of Mexico oil spill - Apr 04, 2011
- US gives BP deadline for answers on oil well cap - Jul 09, 2010
- Tropical Storm 'Bonnie' Gathers Pace, Moves Towards Gulf Of Mexico - Jul 23, 2010
- 13 rescued after Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion - Sep 03, 2010
- US Coast Guard says Gulf oil spill to make landfall Friday - Apr 30, 2010
- BP extends capped oil tests in Gulf of Mexico - Jul 18, 2010
- "Poor safety culture" onboard Deepwater Horizon led to last year's massive Gulf oil spill - Apr 23, 2011
- BP begins critical test of ruptured well - Jul 14, 2010
Tags: alabama saturday night, approaching storm, bp plc, coastal storm, david nicholas, electronics technician, emergency alarm, false alarms, financial times, government panel, horizon oil, national hurricane center, national hurricane centre, new york times newspaper, oil rig, oil spill, spill area, storm watches, tropical depression, water drilling