BP gets 72-hour deadline to submit contingency plans for oil spill recovery

By Phaedra Friend Troy

BP has been given a 72-hour deadline to submit contingency plans for the oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico should a hurricane threaten or vessels and facilities fail. 

For comprehensive coverage of the Deepwater Horizon incident, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts under way to resolve them, visit PennEnergy's Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico special section.

In a letter, James Watson, US Coast Guard Rear Admiral and federal on-scene coordinator of the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, gave BP a 72-hour deadline to submit its contingency plan and timeline to ensure that oil and natural gas collection continues uninterrupted.

“I am instructing BP to establish system(s) capable of safely collecting the oil and gas flowing from the Macondo 252 well. The system(s) established must have appropriate redundancies to maintain complete collection rates in the event that operational problems are encountered in any part of the system,” wrote Watson.

Deployed June 3, the LMRP oil spill cap has been successfully transferring hydrocarbons to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship above the water’s surface at increasing rates.

Watson wants to make sure that BP is prepared to continue capturing the oil and natural gas should any failures occur or a hurricane threaten. The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1, and it is predicted to be an active one. 

Look to PennEnergy and its daily Global Offshore Weather Report for up-to-date video coverage of offshore wind, waves and weather for the nine busiest offshore regions worldwide, including the Gulf of Mexico.

“BP shall provide the plans for these parallel, continuous, and contingency collection processes, including an implementation timeline, within 72 hours of receiving this letter,” he concluded. 

The oil spill began when there was a fire and explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon semisub on April 20, which then led to the sinking of the rig. BP, industry experts and governmental officials have been working desperately to contain the oil spill, deploying myriad devices in their efforts.



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