BP continued to ramp up its response to the oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico. Over 2,500 personnel are now involved in the oil spill response effort and well-advanced preparations are being made for a major protection and cleaning effort on the shorelines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. A fourth onshore command centre, in Mobile, Alabama, opened yesterday.
“In the past few days I have seen the full extent of BP’s global resources and capability being brought to bear on this problem, and welcome the offers of further assistance we have had from government agencies, oil companies and members of the public to defend the shoreline and fight this spill,” said Tony Hayward, BP Group Chief Executive. “We will be judged by the success we have in dealing with this incident and we are determined to succeed.”
Work is progressing to install marine protection booms along the coast. As well as almost 220,000 feet of boom already in the water, an additional 300,000 feet is staged or in the process of being deployed, with more on the way.
The onshore activity is focused on five locations in the potentially affected states: Venice, Louisiana; Pascagoula and Biloxi, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida. Staging posts are in place stocked with people and material, including about 100,000 feet of boom, to protect the shoreline in each area. In addition, a sixth staging post is now being set up in Port Sulphur, Louisiana.
Hayward added: “BP is fully committed to taking all possible steps to contain the spread of the oil spill. We are taking full responsibility for the spill and we will clean it up, and where people can present legitimate claims for damages we will honour them.”
The oil spill follows the sinking of Transocean’s drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Mississippi Canyon 252 block.