TIMELINE-Gulf of Mexico oil spill

June 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Millions of gallons (liters) of oil have
poured into the Gulf of Mexico since an April 20 blast on the
Deepwater Horizon rig triggered a huge spill, soiling 100 miles
(160 km) of coastline, threatening some of the United States’s
richest fisheries and endangering a fragile ecosystem.

Below is a timeline of the spill and its impact:

April 20, 2010 – Explosion and fire on Transocean Ltd’s
drilling rig Deepwater Horizon licensed to BP (BP.L: ); 11
workers are killed. The rig was drilling in BP’s Macondo
project 42 miles (68 km) southeast of Venice, Louisiana,
beneath about 5,000 feet (1,525 metres) of water and 13,000
feet (4 km) under the seabed.

April 22 – The Deepwater Horizon rig, valued at more than
$560 million, sinks and a five mile long oil slick is seen.

April 25 – The Coast Guard says remote underwater cameras
detect the well is leaking 1,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
It approves a plan to have remote underwater vehicles activate
a blowout preventer and stop leak. Efforts to activate the
blowout preventer fail.

April 28 – The Coast Guard says the flow of oil is 5,000
barrels per day (bpd) (210,000 gallons/795,000 litres) — five
times greater than first estimated. A controlled burn is held
on the giant oil slick.

April 29 – Obama pledges “every single available resource,”
including the U.S. military, to contain the spreading spill.

— Obama also says BP is responsible for the cleanup.
Louisiana declares state of emergency due to the threat to the
state’s natural resources.

April 30 – An Obama aide says no drilling will be allowed
in new areas, as the president had recently proposed, until the
cause of the Deepwater Horizon accident is known.

— BP Chairman Tony Hayward says the company takes full
responsibility for the spill and would pay all legitimate
claims and the cost of the cleanup.

May 2 – Obama visits the Gulf Coast to see cleanup efforts
first hand. U.S. officials close areas affected by the spill to
fishing for an initial period of 10 days. BP starts to drill a
relief well alongside the failed well, a process that could
take two to three months to complete.

May 5 – A barge begins towing a 98-ton containment chamber
to the site of the leak. BP says one of the three leaks has
been shut off by capping a valve, but that would not cut the
amount of oil gushing out.

May 6 – Oil washes ashore on the Chandeleur Islands off the
Louisiana coast, uninhabited barrier islands that are part of
the Breton National Wildlife Refuge.

May 7 – BP tries to lower a containment dome over the leak,
but the 100-tonne device was rendered useless by a slush of
frozen hydrocarbons that clogged it. — A fishing ban for
federal waters off the Gulf is modified, expanded and extended
to May 17.

May 9 – BP says it might try to plug the undersea leak by
pumping materials such as shredded up tires and golf balls into
the well at high pressure, a method called a “junk shot.”

May 11/12 – Executives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton
appear at congressional hearings in Washington. Senate Energy
committee chairman Jeff Bingaman says that it appeared that the
explosion on the rig was due to a “cascade of errors,
technical, human and regulatory. The executives blame each
other’s companies.

May 14 – Obama slams companies involved in the spill,
criticizing them for a “ridiculous spectacle” of publicly
trading blame over the accident in his sternest comments yet.

May 16 – BP succeeds in inserting a tube into the leaking
well and capturing some oil and gas.

May 18 – The U.S. nearly doubles a no-fishing zone in
waters affected by the oil, extending it to 19 percent of U.S.
waters in the Gulf.

May 19 – The first heavy oil from the spill sloshes ashore
in fragile Louisiana marshlands and part of the mess enters a
powerful current that could carry it to Florida and beyond.

May 26 – A “top kill” maneuver starts involving pumping
heavy fluids and other material into the well shaft to stifle
the flow, then sealing it with cement.

May 28 – Obama tours the Louisiana Gulf coast on his second
visit – “I am the president and the buck stops with me,” he
said.

— BP CEO Tony Hayward flies over the Gulf. BP says that
the cost of the disaster so far is $930 million. May 29 – BP
says the complex “top kill” maneuver to plug the well has
failed, crushing hopes for a quick end to the largest oil spill
in U.S. history already in its 40th day.

May 31 – The U.S. government and BP are warning that the
blown-out oil well may not be stopped until August as the
company prepares a new attempt to capture leaking crude.

June 1 – BP shares plunge 17 percent in London trading,
wiping $23 billion off its market value, on news its latest
attempt to plug the well has failed.

Stock Research

(Reporting by Erwin Seba and Ros Krasny: Additional writing
and editing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

TIMELINE-Gulf of Mexico oil spill