Thursday, July 15 – Day 86
This page will be updated throughout the day
BP just announced that oil has stopped leaking from it’s well into the Gulf of Mexico on day 86 of the environmental disaster.
Officials have been testing a cap to temporarily halt the leak. It was put in place Monday with its valves left open. Government officials were afraid the build up of pressure from closing the valves could cause additional leaks. After further analysis BP engineers were given the okay to close the valves. Wednesday night a leak was detected before testing of the new cap could begin. As of Thursday morning, the minor leak was repaired. As of Thursday afternoon, the gushing major leak has been plugged.
Work on a permanent fix, relief wells that will plug the spill from below with mud and cement, will resume. The relief well’s timeframe has always been hazy, with company and federal officials giving estimates ranging from the end of July to the middle of August before it can be completed.
SURGEON GENERAL TO PAY VISIT
U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is visiting the Panhandle Thursday to talk about the toll the massive spill is taking on coastal residents’ mental and physical health. She will be joined by the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ substance abuse and mental health services programs. The group will meet with local leaders about mental and public health problems related to the oil spill.
OIL SPILL CLEANUP WORKER ARRESTED ON MURDER CHARGES
An oil spill cleanup worker in Texas wanted by authorities in a local murder has been arrested. Lorenzo Sam was arrested Monday night on a barge south of Petit Bois Island. He is a suspect in the July 7 shooting death of Leesa Nascimento, a flower shop owner in Sugar Land, Texas.
BP TO BUY BIOFUELS BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA
BP said Thursday it will buy a biofuels business in California from Verenium Corp. for $98.3 million. The business specializes in cellulosic biofuels–fuels made from grasses, canes softwoods and other biomass. BP is acquiring Verenium’s pilot plant in Jennings, Louisiana, and research and development facility in San Diego.
In the 12 weeks since the explosion, an estimated 92 million to 182 million gallons of oil have flowed into the Gulf. The government estimates 1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons are leaking every day.