It began on 20 April when offshore drilling company Transoceans semisubmersible rig was drilling a well for UK energy giant BP in 4,992 ft of water on the Gulf Coast off the US when an explosion occurred, leaving 11 workers missing and presumed dead.
The ensuing oil spill is now the size of Puerto Rico and has reached the shore in southern Louisiana. Latest reports say 200,000 gallons a day of oil are leaking and that the clean-up cost is estimated to be £5.2 billion (6 billion).
The spill fed by crude oil leaking from the BP Macondo well on Mississippi Canyon Block 252 has resulted in an oil slick that is spreading. The slick forced shutdown of two production platforms and evacuation of one of them, halting production of 6.2 MMcfd of natural gas.
BP Group CEO Tony Hayward has reiterated his commitment to the White House that BP will do anything and everything we can to stop the leak, attack the spill offshore, and protect the shorelines of the gulf coast.
BP continued trying to stop the flow of oil at the blowout preventer and was attempting to use a new technology for dispersing oil at the seabed. It also is fabricating a subsea containment apparatus. In addition, BP plans to drill a relief well with the Transocean Development Driller III semisubmersible, which is on site.