- Title: USA: U.S. Coast Guard admiral says he's keeping close oversight on BP oil spill
- Date: 25th May 2010
- Summary: GRAPHIC (MAY 24, 2010) (REUTERS) ANIMATION SHOWING NOAA FORECAST OF OIL SPILL FROM MAY 24-26 ANIMATION PULLS OUT TO SHOW SCATTERED OIL SLICK IN GULF OF MEXICO
- Embargoed: 9th June 2010 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVAD8MZVZ9P5HUEH7EDQDTF7G31A
- Story Text: The U.S. federal coordinator for the growing oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico said that BP is employing every technical means possible to try to stop the leak that continues to gush from its blown-out well Monday (May 24).
"I've been involved with the technical decisions made, especially in relation - to deal with the leak and they are pressing ahead. We are overseeing them. They are exhausting every technical means possible to deal with that leak," U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told reporters at the White House.
He said that BP is systematically going through its options to stem the flow of oil leaking into open waters.
"There are a number of solutions, and they're doing them in sequence based on risk. The ultimate solution is going to be to drill a relief well, take the pressure off that well, and cap it. That will be sometime in August. We don't want to wait that long. So, we're trying a series of interventions starting with the insertion tube to evacuate the oil that we can, the top kill shot - that will be scheduled, I believe, for early Wednesday now, to try and force mud down the blowout preventer into the well to stop the pressure so that it can be sealed. There's a series of events. They're trying the least risky ones first and moving on down, but we cannot stop. We've got to try every means that we can to stop this leak," Allen said.
The admiral said that he has consulted with other oil companies and has assessed all resources available, but that BP is still best positioned to deal with the operation to stop the leak.
"They have the means of production. They have the logistics in place. They have the ROVs that are down there. We are jointly operating in their command post out of Houston. Everybody who has a stake in the fight is there, and I am satisfied with the coordination that's going on. I think Secretary Salazar is right. I think he's probably exhibiting an immense amount of frustration we all feel, and we need to keep pressure on and make sure they are accountable in doing their jobs. As it stands right now, at least in my opinion, the means of production is in the hands of BP. They just need to do their job," Allen said.
But despite its capability, Allen said that BP needed to improve in areas, and that the federal government was putting pressure on the company to make changes where needed.
"BP does wholesale really good, in terms of massing logistics, moving stuff around, getting it into warehouses. That last mile of retail, where you get the sighting of the oil, you've got to get the boom there. You've got to coordinate all that. That's where the coordination has got to be tightened up, and I had a conversation with Tony Hayward this weekend on that. So, I would say we have more of a play, need to exert more pressure, and are exerting more pressure on the retail end where that boom actually hits the water. We're trying to deal with the resources there," Allen said.
The White House has repeatedly said it is the energy giant's responsibility to clean up the spill, but with public anger over BP's handling of the crisis intensifying, there have been calls for the Obama administration to take more responsibility.
The spill has been flowing since April 20, when an explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon rig sank the drilling platform and killed 11 workers, with thousands of barrels of oil a day estimated to be pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. While spending hundreds of millions of dollars on trying to stop the leak and clean up its environmental effects, BP has been under increasing government and media scrutiny over its safety procedures in the days before the explosion.
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