BP drilling relief well, building containment domes
BP announced Tuesday that it began drilling a relief well to intercept and isolate the oil well that is spilling oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Work on the relief well has actually been under way since Sunday. The new well, in 5,000 feet of water, aims to intercept the existing well around 13,000 feet below the seabed and permanently seal it.
The new drill site is about half a mile on the seabed from the leaking well in Mississippi Canyon block 252, and drilling is estimated to take three months.
In the meantime, construction has been completed on a containment dome, a massive 4-story structure the company plans to lower into place over one of the three leaks to capture the escaping oil and pump it to the surface. Two more domes should be completed today, and crews hope to install all three domes by the end of the week, CNN reports.
Once lowered over the leak site and connected by pipe, the canopy is designed to channel the flow of oil from the subsea to the surface where it could be processed and stored safely on board a specialist vessel. Watch a CNN video about how BP hopes these containment domes will work.
BP has also carried out a second approved trial injection of dispersants directly into the oil flow at a point close to the main leak on the seabed. The technique is intended to efficiently mix the oil and dispersant, breaking up and dispersing accumulations of oil and allowing it to degrade naturally and reduce surface impact. This innovative technique was suggested by companies across the oil industry that BP approached last week for more ideas and expertise on tackling the spill.
BP’s most recent efforts come as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is stating that the oil slick appears to be drifting toward the Alabama and Florida coasts and the Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana’s southern tip.
Listen here to an exclusive April 30 interview with a rig survivor, “James,” on The Mark Levin Show. While the show chose not to use James’ real name, it did confirm that James was on the rig when it blew up. James discusses possible causes of the explosion and efforts to contain the leaks, including numerous details about the incident not yet made public.
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OCT 22 This entertaining short (15 minutes) film on Munchies is all about Boudin. Thank goodness it's just a documentary-style piece filled with the voices and faces of south Louisiana, as opposed to outsiders waxing poetic about our regional specialties. But be warned, there is some pretty graphic pig butchery going on here, so if you're squeamish it may not be for you.
OCT 22 A state judge threw out the lawsuit of a former employee of the LSU Alumni Association, the Advocate reports here. The employee had claimed the former director of the group gave her a job so she'd have sex with him, and after she left agreed to continue to pay her -- so she'd have sex with him. Apparently you get no points for hutzpah.
OCT 22 Education blogger Mike Deshotels writes about the retraction of the Cowen report in this post. However you slice it, the Recovery School District is still failing, he says. (But Mike, doesn't that depend on what the intention was? If no one ever meant the RSD to fix public education, it's working perfectly, isn't it?)
OCT 22 A major Jindal donor was allowed to avoid the competitive bid process in the purchase of a state office building in Monroe, blogger Tom Aswell reports in this post on Louisiana Voice. The circumstances he lays out here are pretty stinky.
OCT 22 While Govs. Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry attempt to fan the flames of Fox Newsian hysteria into viable presidential hopes with talk of building walls to keep out the Ebola, LA Times columnist Mike Hiltzik gives them some national press they probably don't want: if you want to save lives, he says, try accepting Medicaid expansion. Wups!
OCT 22 It's hard to pick out the most interesting part of this post on Mother Jones about Texas lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick (His claim that migrant workers will bring leprosy to Texas? That Connie Chung's show should be called "Slanted Eye to Eye"?) But of course we must go with the comments about our very own Duck people, and how they are the spokesmen for God.
OCT 22 Advocate owner (and rich guy) John Georges must be doing a little happy dance today. As his paper reports here, the Times Picayune is further reducing its footprint in NOLA, by laying off 100 people and moving their printing operations to Mobile. (Yes, Alabama.) Does this mean the Advocate won?
OCT 22 Baton Rouge's downtown is now starting to show significant growth, this post on DIG Baton Rouge reports. With new construction, new restaurants and new housing units popping up, the downtown area is finally starting to look like a capital city, the story says.
OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the amoeba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
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