It has been leaking since 20 April and recovery operations for oil and gas ejected from BPs well in the Gulf of Mexico mean time is certainly money with a cost to date of $3.12 billion (2.48 billion).
The spill has now reached all five Gulf Coast states in the US, with reports of tarballs landing on Texan shores. A total of 35 gallons of sand-seaweed-tar was recovered in Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula and on East Beach in Galveston on 5-6 July. Crews estimate 35 gallons was recovered, of which about 7 gallons were tar balls.
BP continues drilling two relief wells while expanding collection systems to divert more leaking oil and natural gas from spilling into the gulf.
Transocean Ltd.s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilled the Macondo well for BP and its partners in 5,000 ft of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 252. An explosion and fire on the semi killed 11 people, and the rig sank on 22 April. The cause of the blowout accident remains under investigation.
On 3 July two existing collection systems gathered a total of 25,198 bbl of oil and 57 MMcf of gas of which all the gas was flared and some oil was burned. A lower marine riser package containment cap system connected to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship collected 17,022 bbl of oil while the Helix Q4000 multiservice vessel flared 8,176 bbl.
Preparations continue to install a third collection system involving the first of two floating risers. The first floating riser is in place and will be connected with the Helix Producer floating production unit once weather allows calm seas for a long-enough period to complete this work.
The floating riser is designed to allow more rapid disconnection and reconnection of the system, reducing the time that collection might be disrupted in case of hurricanes or other problems. BP expects that the first floating riser system might be ready to begin first operations towards the end of the week.