Rough seas caused by Hurricane Alex prevent oil spill clean-up measures

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Although Hurricane Alex is passing well west of the Macondo well and oil spill containment measures in the Mississippi Canyon region of the US Gulf of Mexico, rough seas and high winds are keeping oil spill clean-up vessels docked. 

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.

Hurricane Alex is slowing trekking through the Western portion of the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to make landfall Thursday evening in Northern Mexico. Because the storm is passing far east of the oil spill, the drilling rigs and production vessels on site are continuing their oil spill containment efforts.

The Discoverer Enterprise drillship and the Q4000 vessel are both actively receiving hydrocarbons from the oil spill containment measures at the blown-out Macondo well. Furthermore, drilling continues on the two relief wells.

On the other hand, oil spill clean-up efforts have been shelved because of high waves and strong winds caused by the hurricane, reports the Associated Press.

Skimming operations have been stopped for safety reasons. The National Weather Service reports that some waves in the Gulf of Mexico have reached as high as 12 feet.

All skimming efforts have been stopped off the Louisiana coast, and all near-shore skimming off the coast of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi has been curtailed, added AP. 

Forecasted to be an "extremely active" one, the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have 23 named storms. BP has been steadily working on oil spill containment measures that will better weather the storm, with the first such enhancement expected to be operational within days.

Look to PennEnergy’s Global Offshore Weather Report daily to find out the most up-to-date information about Hurricane Alex, as well as wind, weather and wave information for the nine busiest offshore regions worldwide.

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