Oil spill response team conducts second day of controlled burn

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The oil spill response team has conducted a controlled oil burn on the water’s surface for the second day in a row.

On May 6, a controlled burn was lit above the oil-stained waters of the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to remove the oil from the water and protect the US Gulf Coast.

The first controlled oil burn was conducted April 28, but subsequent efforts were thwarted until May 5 because of unfavorable weather.

Above and Below the Water

Furthering the team’s effort to stop oil spilling into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, a cofferdam oil containment system was lowered into water over night May 6.

The domed oil containment system was developed to catch the oil that is being released into the water, and the Discoverer Enterprise drillship will process the oil water pumped from the cofferdam via a riser.

Also, two rigs are drilling two relief wells to help stop the flow of oil from the Macondo well.

Deepwater Horizon Drilling Rig Accident

The oil spill is a direct result of a fire and explosion that occurred on the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig April 20. BP, Transocean and the US Coast Guard immediately responded rescuing rig staff and searching for 11 missing personnel, who are now presumed dead.

Following the fire, the drilling rig sunk to the seafloor 5,000 feet below, and oil has been spilling into the Gulf of Mexico since.

An extensive team of 16 federal agencies are now involved in the effort to protect the US Gulf Coast from the oil spill, in an above and below the water oil spill response plan.

While one of the three subsea locations from which oil was spilling has been plugged, the rate of flow remained at an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil a day. Hopes are pinned on the domed oil spill containment system that is being installed subsea.

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