Deepwater Horizon Incident Timeline

The following is a timeline of events regarding the Deepwater Horizon incident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It runs from April 20, 2010 when the rig exploded and sank, to September 19, 2010 when the well was officially proclaimed "dead."


Historical Background: The mineral rights to drill the Macondo Prospect, abbreviated as MC252, were leased by BP in March, 2008.  Mapping of the block was completed in March 2009.  The drilling plan was approved by MMS in June 2009 by an unlicensed drilling engineer at the agency's New Orleans office.  The semi-submersible rig Mariannas spudded the first well at the site and commenced drilling in October 2009.  The rig was damaged by hurricane Ida in November (click for the source).  Deepwater Horizon took over drilling at the site in February 2010 and, according to this Bloomberg story, almost immediately began experiencing problems with the well.

Fox News ran a timeline showing what the Obama Regime was doing "since day one." That terminated on August 4, 2010.


April

April 20:

The Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon explodes and catches fire in the Gulf of Mexico at about 10 p.m. A crew of 126 people were on board, 11 are missing and at least 15 are injured.  Initial reports are that a blowout occurred when oil and methane gas erupted through the riser pipe connecting the Horizon to the well head, 5,000 feet below surface.

April 21:
The U.S. Coast Guard holds its first news conference on the incident. Mary Landry, commander of the Coast Guard's 8th District, says that the Coast Guard is unsure whether any oil has been spilled and that efforts were being focused on recovering the missing crewmen.

April 22:
About 100 survivors from the rig arrive on shore after being treated and debriefed offshore. The 11 missing crewmembers are still unaccounted for.

The Deepwater Horizon, still burning, sinks into the Gulf of Mexico, dragging the damaged riser pipe to the bottom with it.

April 23:
The U.S. Coast Guard says that no oil is leaking from the undersea well at the Deepwater Horizon site.

The U.S. Coast Guard officially suspends its search for the 11 missing workers.  The 11 missing are presumed to have been killed by the explosion and fire.

The Netherlands, along with a number of other countries, offer assistance (Houston Chronicle, via The Right Scoop) to the U.S. Government.  For whatever reason, that assistance is refused.

April 24:
Reversing the previous day's statements, USCG public affairs states that oil is now leaking from the undersea well at the Deepwater Horizon site. The rate is estimated to be about 1,000 barrels per day, or 42,000 gallons.

April 25:
Remotely operated submersibles are first employed to engage the valves on the blowout preventer device at the well on the sea bottom.  The first of many efforts fail. Oil continues at a rate of about 42,000 gallons per day and the first significant images of a slick begin to appear on aerial photographs.

April 26-27:
Severe weather, including thunderstorms, high winds and high seas, suspend cleanup efforts.

April 28:
Crews begin the first "controlled burn" of oil floating atop the water, using specially constructed fire booms. The fire booms, which were not on hand (or even within hundreds of miles of the coast) had to be ordered from Ohio. Experts in marine oil spills criticize BP and the USCG, stating that burning procedures were established in plans approved in 1994.

NOAA announces that five times as much oil (210,000 gallons) is spewing in the Gulf of Mexico than originally thought. Underwater imagery also shows that at least two new leaks in the damaged riser pipe are leaking, bringing the total sources of leaking crude to three.

BP refuses to confirm flow rate, with Kent Wells quoted as saying that such estimates are "difficult to determine."


BP begins mobilizing equipment and resources (see last paragraph at the link) to drill a relief well at the site.  BP identifies the relief well as the best, permanent solution for shutting off the leak, but estimates that engineering, mobilization and drilling could take 60 to 90 days.

April 29:
Governor Bobby Jindal issues emergency declaration and requests federal assistance.

President Obama signs the declaration and declares the incident a "Spill of National Significance."

The President has his WTF moment and realizes that he has a problem.

April 30:
The Louisiana National Guard prepares to send communication equipment, boats, all-terrain vehicles and other equipment to help combat the oil spill.

Alabama Governor Bob Riley, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Florida Governor Charlie Crist declare states of emergency and request federal assistance.

White House says Obama will not visit the Gulf Coast.

The Obama regime comes under fire from members of Congress, including Alabama Representative Jo Bonner, for not having "a single point person overseeing the response effort.  Even from the local level, this has been a frequent criticism of the situation to date, at least from mayors and others with whom I've spoken," says an exasperated Bonner.

May

May 1:
The first containment booms are readied near Chef Menteur and Ft. Pike in Louisiana, to protect Lake Pontchartrain from Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  Boom materials are also delivered to Mississippi, Alabama and Northwest Florida locations.

Eleven days after the Deepwater Horizon exploded, caught fire and began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration names US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, veteran of Katrina and Rita recovery operations as the Incident Commander.

Strong wind and rough seas slow the deployment of containment booms.

May 2: 
Twelve days after the incident, President Obama suddenly changes his mind and travels to Gulf for update, assures the region that oil spill has federal government's full attention. In a speech near Venice, LA, he says that "BP is the responsible party" for the spill and will pay for the cost of cleanup.

Regime officials begin the "tough talk" on BP, with both Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and  Press Secretary Robert Gibbs promising to keep the federal "boot on the throat of BP."

BP executive Lamar McKay blames the explosion and sinking of Deepwater Horizon on "failed equipment," but does not elaborate and declines to estimate the amount of oil entering the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA officials close federal waters in the area to fishing.

BP begins using underwater application of chemical dispersants to mitigate the amounts of oil reaching the surface.

BP begins drilling the first relief well.

May 3:
BP reports that the underwater application of dispersants is successful in reducing the amount of oil spill reaching surface of Gulf.

BP CEO Tony Hayward tells ABC's Good Morning America that BP is not solely responsible for the accident, but will pay for the cleanup.

LA Governor Jindal tells reporters that state and parish plans are moving forward to contain oil spill.

A set of two containment boxes are being readied to trap oil near the source, with flexible lines connected to a ship on the surface.  The plan is to capture oil, pump it to the surface and remove it to shoreside treatment and refining facilities.

May 4:
Bobby Jindal mobilizes another 500 National Guard troops for Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  So far, none of the other states have mobilized troops, but Alabama National Guard forces are preparing to mobilize and construct protection walls near sensitive Alabama beaches and coastal areas.

Surviving rig workers sue in Federal court over the incident, saying they were in lifeboats for 10 hours after explosion and suffered severe physical, emotional and mental trauma from the incident.

BP CEO Tony Hayward says spending on Gulf oil spill unlikely to be limited by $75 million cap established by Oil & Pollution Act of 1990.

BP begins mobilization of the two containment structures to the well site. 

May 5:
BP manages to cap one of the three known leaks, but oil flow is not impacted enough to make a difference.

Containment box meant to stifle Gulf of Mexico oil spill is en route to accident site.

The State of Louisiana and the US Army Corps of Engineers consider opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway to keep Gulf oil spill at bay.


May 6:
BP and USCG jointly conduct five "controlled burns" of oil released in Gulf of Mexico oil spill. No word is given on the success or failure of the burn off, but no future burn-offs are scheduled.

May 7:
USCGC confirms report of Gulf oil spill reaching the Chandeleur Islands, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, between the mouth of the Mississippi and Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Louisiana obtains more boom material and deploys it to protect Rigolets, Chef Menteur passes from oil spill.

Containment box to stifle oil spill in Gulf has been placed over spewing well.

May 8:
The containment box plan fails, as frozen crystals of methane gas and other volatile compounds clog the valves between the containment box and flexible pipe to the surface. The plan is abandoned.

May 9:
After Saturday's containment box failure, BP announces that it may try again with a smaller version, which it refers to as a "top hat."

May 10:
BP prepares the top hat device and begins engineering plans for other approaches, including an insertion tube, a "top kill" and "kill shot." Top kill refers to pumping cement into the well itself.  Kill shot refers to injecting plastics and synthetic materials (shredded tires, golf balls, recycled plastics) into the well to clog it.

Congress holds the first of many hearings into the incident. Louisiana officials criticize Congress for holding hearings and drawing company execs away from the command centers while oil sill spews into the Gulf.  "The time for that is afterwards," Says LA Senator David Vitter.

May 11:
Smaller 'top hat' containment box arrives at site and preparations begin to lower it over the site.

May 12:
Tar balls reported at South Pass in Plaquemines Parish.  Tarballs are also reported at Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores in Alabama. "Liquid-like" Oil is reported on shore of barrier island off Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana.

BP is unable to properly position the top hat device, and says that the insertion tube and top kill plans are being prepared if the top hat cannot be positioned and used. The kill shot is deemed the third best option.

Dept. of Interior releases report of inspection on 33 deepwater drilling rigs and production platforms, finding only minor problems.

May 13:
In an SEC filing, BP says the oil spill recovery and cleanup cost are estimated to be $450 million, with the number potentially going higher.


USCG and BP announce that top hat has failed.  Insertion tube strategy is readied for first attempt on the 14th.

May 14:
Insertion-tube strategy for containing Gulf of Mexico oil spill tried shortly after midnight, and failed.


May 15:
Second attempt at the insertion tube strategy succeeds, providing the first good news of the incident.

May 16:
Flexible tubing is connected to the insertion tube and a nearly Mile-long garden hose on steriods finally begins diverting oil to a collection ship at the surface.

May 17:
Insertion tube estimated to be draining 1,000 barrels per day, or about on-fifth of the government's initial estimate of the flow rate leaking from the well.


May 18:
Several wells off the coast are shut down as a precautionary measure because of Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  The insertion tube continues to divert oil to the surface.

Drilling begins on a second, backup relief well.

May 19:
Official estimates of volume of Gulf of Mexico oil leak is dramatically low, Purdue expert says.  BP states that it never estimated the flow rate; that all estimates have come from government sources.

BP says top kill procedures could be in place to make first attempt to seal Gulf oil well with an attempt to be made as early as the 23rd or 24th (Sunday or Monday).

Initial investigations of the explosion are that tests of cementing materials may not have been performed properly, and that well planning procedures may not have been sufficient. Experienced oil men tell this blogger that someone cut corners "down hole," something you just don't ever do. 

May 20:
BP concedes more oil spilling into Gulf than originally estimated, as the insertion tube is now removing 210,000 gallons per day (the original estimate), and oil is still coming out of the well.  However, BP re-asserts that it never estimated the flow rate; that those estimates were the governments, not BP's. 


May 21:
Grand Isle closes beaches due to oil on shore.

May 22:
Louisiana wildlife officials close southwestern portion of Barataria Bay to all fishing.

Dept. of Interior Ken Salazar says that the federal government could "push BP out of the way" if officials are unsatisfied with progress.

May 23:
Top kill delayed to at least the 24th; Admiral Allen participates in a news conference at the White House and dismisses possibility of taking over from BP.

Louisiana officials blast the US Army Corps of Engineers for delaying permits to construct sand berms along the shoreline to stop the oil flow from reaching the state's sensitive marshes.  Both Gov. Bobby Jindal and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser give fiery, videotaped interviews.  Both say they can't wait for approval to build sand barriers.

May 24:
President Obama announces that he will make another visit to Louisiana to survey the efforts to stop the spill and clean up the coast.

The top kill procedure is further delayed, with BP citing the need to perform additional engineering calculations and tests.  BP estimates the success rate at 60% to 70% but warns that it's never been tried at 5,000 feet below the surface.

Watch a time-lapse video of satellite images of the spill from NASA's MODIS:



May 25:
Democrats in Congress express frustration over the oil spill response and administration stonewalling.

The top kill procedure is delayed yet again.

May 26:
US Coast Guard finally grants approval for top kill procedure.  No previous statements--from either BP or the government--indicated that BP was not cleared to go on the procedure.

BP begins top kill procedure approximately one hour after receiving approval, and broadcasts live underwater video from the well.

May 27:
The top kill procedure, which began shortly after noon on the previous day, shows signs of success.  Adm. Thad Allen tells WWL Radio that the flow of hydrocarbons has been stopped.

President Obama, holding his first open press conference in 309 days (37 days after the Deepwater incident), takes questions from White House correspondents, and is drilled by reporters on the government's response.

Obama drops a bombshell:  Just 15 days after the deepwater rigs passed safety inspections by Department of Interior, all deepwater drilling is to cease. (PDF)

Elizabeth Birnbaum resigned (or was fired) as head of the Minerals Management Service.

A team of scientists led by the US Geological Survey, using several different methods, calculated the flow of oil from the leaking well to be between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels per day.  At 37 days, even the most conservative of these estimates--18.648 million gallons--would make the Deepwater Horizon the largest spill in US history.

May 28:
BP now says it may take as long as 48 hours to know if the top kill procedure has worked. Video of the leak shows mud being ejected from the damaged blowout preventer, but hydrocarbon flow appears to have diminished.

President Obama visist the region for only the second time in the 37 days since the rig exploded, burned and sank.  He flew over the slick, picked up some tarballs from Port Fourchon, gave a few remarks, and left for a Chicago vacation.   

May 29: America seems mesmerized by BP's live feed "spillcam."

BP's much-hyped top kill process is called off, forcing officials to try another strategy.  Anger mounts across the Gulf Coast.

May 30:
Media members begin complaining that their access to the spill site is being limited by BP.

Further dashing waning hopes for Gulf Coast residents, BP says relief wells are the end point, but that it does have other temporary options.

May 31:
While some academic scientists warn of vast underwater oil plumes BP officials say that the majority of the oil is on the surface.  Father-in-law tells me he thinks they're both full of crap.

June

June 1:
BP begins process of cutting the damaged riser pipe and installing a improved valve on the malfunctioning blowout preventer.  Speculation mounts among the drilling and production community on the Gulf Coast that BP's ultimate goal isn't to shut off the well; but to bring it back into production.

June 2:
Oil begins washing up on the public beach at Dauphin Island. Meanwhile, Governor Barbour calls for more boats to be deployed off the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and a health expert says the oil spill probably won't hurt the average beachgoer. 

Offshore, BP runs into even more troubles with the riser cutting operation begun the day before, as a saw blade gets jammed while cutting a pipe on the seafloor.  The blade is later freed and the operation begins again.

June 3:
The first viscous oil begins appearing on Alabama beaches and enters Mobile Bay.  Reports also say oil is now only miles from Florida's panhandle beaches.

Industry groups say that the Obama regime's moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling will cost the area's economy thousands of jobs.

NOAA again expands the area closed to fishing.  Most of the most productive areas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico are now closed to US fishermen.

Sometime around midnight, BP installs the well cap on the riser, cutting off a fraction of the oil flowing from the damaged well.

June 4:
Oil continues to flow from the well cap but BP says the device is diverting some of the oil to the surface.

Obama makes another trip to Plaquemines Parish. He talks tough on BP, refuses to lift the ban on deep water drilling, pauses for a photo op, and leaves.

More skimmer boats are deployed along the coast in an attempt to collect oil before it fouls beaches and marshes.  Despite these efforts, more oil comes ashore in Baldwin County.

Mobile native Jimmy Buffett visits Pensacola Beach for grand opening of Margaritaville Hotel.

June 5:
Pensacola Beach sees the first oil globs coming ashore.  The trajectory forecast calls for oil to wash ashore from Pensacola Beach to Panama City Beach.

For the first time since the incident began, major news media outlets finally recognize the bumbling, ineffective federal response and start laying the blame at Obama's feet (VIDEO).

Alabama Governor Bob Riley complains that the Feds are not helping to protect the Alabama coastline, and calls for more men and materials.

June 6:
BP and federal officials say that the containment cap is now collecting the majority of oil spewing from the damaged well.  However, the live video feed from the ROV "Skandi" shows a great deal of crude escaping the device (this link may not work after a period of time).

BP increases the capture rate by manipulating the vents in the containment cap that is still releasing oil.  Estimates are that the device is now capturing 420,000 gallons, or 1,000 barrels per day.

BP's ad campaign draws fire from public and public officials for being shallow and premature.

June 7:
The Press Register's Ben Raines, who first broke the story on the botched in-situ burn plan, reports that a second rig, the Ocean Saratoga, has also been leaking crude into the Gulf of Mexico at least since April 30.

Barack Obama says that the Gulf of Mexico will "bounce back" from the Deepwater Horizon incident.

BP and the US Coast Guard report that the riser cap system installed over the weekend is now collecting approximately 462,000 gallons of crude per day.  Official government estimates had placed the  spill rate somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million gallons per day.

Analysis shows that the effort to contain and collect spilled oil has failed to contain or collect even a fraction of the total oil spilled in the Gulf since the leak was confirmed on April 24.

Barack Obama attempts to defend  his response to the oil spill by saying he'd met with experts to learn "whose ass to kick," and "I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention." Apparently, he forgot to mention that the damned thing blew up almost two months ago.


June 8:
The moratorium on shallow water drilling and exploration is lifted.

The federal government provides the state of Alabama an additional 100,000 feet of boom material. Alabama Governor Bob Riley had railed against the Feds' "broken promises" to deliver additional materials.

The containment cap system increases flow again.  Admiral Allen now says that the system is collecting approximately 14,800 barrels of oil per day, or about 622,000 gallons. There is reason for guarded optimism for the first time in weeks.

The government quietly reconsiders offers of help from foreign countries, despite being offered the help three days after the incident began.

June 9:
Hornbeck Offshore Services sues the federal government over the moratorium on deepwater drilling.

The AP's scathing analysis of BP's spill response plan finds damning omisions and errors.

Louisiana business leaders form coalition to fight the moratorium.

Oil enters Perdido Pass and tarballs are reported as far up the bay as Bear Point.

The White House announces that Obama will visit Gulfport, Theodore, Orange Beach and Pensacola.  Wonderful.

The FAA closes a large area of the Gulf of Mexico to "unauthorized" air traffic (click map for larger view). Ostensibly to prevent accidents between scientists & media and aircraft working in response efforts, the move is criticized for its capacity to handicap data gathering and news reporting.

June 10:
Heavier oil begins washing ashore on Perdido Key, just west of Pensacola, FL, but stays out of Perdido Pass.

New Orleans P&J Oyster Company, a 134-year old tradition in the French Quarter, closes at least temporarily, and possibly for good.

In Washington, Obama meets with the families of the 11 men killed when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, caught fire and sank on April 20.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, in testimony before a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee, says Obama needs to hire someone with the "authority and the guts to make decisions."

South of Mobile Bay, the Coast Guard conducts what it says is a successful test of a new skimming technique. 

June 11:
Scientists studying the oil flow now say that the well could be spewing as much as 20,000 to 40,000 barrels per day, or between 840,000 and 1.68 million gallons.  Note:  The damaged riser that was cut away to install the new containment cap had crimps in it that restrained the flow, and the containment cap is now capturing about 664,000 gallons, so the actual effective flow is probably on the order of under 200,000 gallons to about 1.0 million.  It's still a LOT of oil.

An editorial in the New Orleans Times Picayune argues correctly that the deepwater exploration moratorium is about politics, not safety or science.

Boat dealers along the Gulf Coast see slumping sales.

USCG Admiral Thad Allen says no one has told him about a Maine Company with lots of readily available, well made boom material.

The feds and BP say that, to date, they have recovered 18.5 million gallons of oily water, burned in-situ about 3.85 million gallons and that the cap device has averaged about 550,000 gallons per day since June 3. Altogether, this represents about 12 million gallons, approximately 1/3 to 1/4 of the total amount spilled.

June 12:
The on-site federal coordinator gives BP 48 hours to come up with more spill containment resources. 

For the first time since the Deepwater Horizon exploded, burned, sank into the gulf and began spewing oil from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, Obama discusses the matter in a phone conversation with British PM David Cameron.

Drilling companies begin process of moving idled deepwater rigs from Gulf of Mexico to Brazil (via Gateway Pundit).

June 13:
 
Sunday's Press-Register Headline: WORST DAY YET
 
Beaches turn black: The oil spill and reports of oil coming ashore on Gulf Coast beaches take their toll on the resort and vacation rental business.

Louisiana's Sand Berm projects are set to begin construction, with equipment mobilizing today,  more than a month after permission to construct them was requested by Governor Bobby Jindal.

Louisiana State Attorney General Buddy Campbell is granted permission to launch an investigation into BP, including the explosion and fire that sank the Deepwater Horizon rig.

In a CNN interview, Alabama Governor Bob Riley levies harsh criticism on the federal response to the spill, saying that it's being run by committee.

Will wonders never cease?  While the relief wells are ahead of schedule, it looks like BP's plan for the attempt wasn't well thought out ahead of time. 

June 14:
Evidence mounts that the well itself is damaged, and that the disaster could metastasize into an unprecedented calamity.

BP submits a new plan (2.8MB, PDF) to increase capture rate from the ruptured well to 53,000 barrels per day, or about 2.2 million gallons by the end of June and 80,000 barrels (3.4 million gallons) per day by mid-July.  These rates, of course, significantly exceed even the worst case estimate of the well's flow rate.

Obama tours facilities in Gulfport, MS and Theodore, AL. He will later ride the Mobile Bay Ferry from Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan, then have a frozen thingie at Tacky Jack's in Orange Beach.

Federal officials create a web-based GIS tool for the incident, an improvement over the complete lack of public GIS access for the last six weeks.  However, the tool does not allow users to download any of data, use the data in their own GIS applications, or save any of the maps.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issues a statement, calling the deepwater drilling moratorium a "Second Manmade Disaster," and saying that the moratorium "absolutely must not go on for six months."

Jindal also starts building the sand barriers, saying that they'd waited long enough.

June 15:
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce releases a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward, detailing the results of the committee's investigations and outlining the questions he will be expected to answer in testimony on June 17.  The Committee also releases a cache of internal documents from BP, Transocean and Halliburton, including damning emails showing that BP cut corners "down hole."

Our remarkably well-functioning, hyper-efficient and totally responsive federal government is set to take over the claims process from BP, which the government says is going too slowly.

BP buys 32 oil-water separators from actor Kevin Costner, who says that if 20 of his machines had been at Prince William Sound, the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez would have been cleaned up in a week.

Wrapping up a two-day visit to the Gulf Coast, Obama visits with Republican Turncoat Florida Governor Charlie Crist, walks on the beach, gives another speech about what the regime is gonna do, and leaves to prepare his for nationally televised speech, set for tonight.

Government scientist up their estimate of oil flow from the damaged well, again.  The new estimate is between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day, or between 1.26 million and 2.52 million gallons.

Okaloosa County, Florida borrows from Bobby Jindal's playbook, defies Unified Command, and authorizes county officials to take whatever actions "deemed necessary" to prevent oil from entering East Pass.

A story in the Wall Street Journal describes how Alabama Governor Bob Riley worked hard to protect Perdido Bay, only to have the federal government screw up his plan.

And a story in the Christian Science Monitor describes the efforts of Magnolia Springs, Alabama Fire Chief   Jamie Hinton and the Coast Guard's interference with his efforts to safe the Magnolia River.
 
June 16:
BP begins burning hydrocarbons collected by the cap on the gushing well, while top company officials meet with senior regime officials, including Obama.

Michael Bromwich, the man Obama taps as as his choice for reforming what used to be the MMS, is revealed to have not so much experience with energy or natural resources.

An academic study shows that the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which has largely escaped fouling by landfalling oil slicks, could still lose up to $120 million in tourism-related revenues due to the spill.

An independent engineering professor (via Hotair.com) gives the PackGen boom material the thumbs up, debunking the BP/USCG story that the material was not suitable for use because of "quality control" failures.

The US Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District approves emergency permits (PDF) for dredge and fill activities in Okaloosa County and other locations within Florida.

After meeting with senior executives of BP, including Swedish-born Chairman of the Board, Carl-Henric Svanberg, both the company and the government agree to establishing a $20 billion escrow fund to pay damages arising from the spill.  No word on whether Obama said to him that his administration was "the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks."

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stubbornly refuses to back down on the deepwater drilling moratorium, but blinks and says it could be shortened from six months.

June 17:
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser calls for Admiral Thad Allen's head.

The first dead sperm whale is found, but tests are so far inconclusive as to whether the animal's death is attributable to the oil spill.

Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) calls the $20 billion slush fund agreed to yesterday by BP and the Obama regime as a "shakedown" and apologizes to the BP CEO, draws sharp rebukes from Democrats, and ultimately apologizes for his apology.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour also says the slush fund might not be such a good idea.

Thad Allen tells reporters that the first of two relief wells is ahead of schedule and could reach the leaking Macondo well within the next few weeks.

The US Coast Guard estimated that the cap on the well, while still gushing oil, is now capturing more than 800,000 gallons, or about 20,000 barrels, per day.

Okaloosa and Walton County beaches see the first significant landfall of oil since the spill began.

Louisiana officials complain that BP and federal agencies are obstructing their response to the spill.

June 18:
The feds refuse to disclose other companies' spill response plans.

Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg (the same man that oversaw the 9/11 victims compensation fund) meets with Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour today.

USCG says the two relief wells are ahead of schedule, with the first well now at about 16,000 feet, or about 2,000 feet shy of the planned intersection point.  The second well is at about 10,000 feet.

USCG also says its ramping up command and control of the organized chaos once known as the Vessels of Opportunity program  (It really is a blessing that no one has been hurt or killed out there).

The feds file their response to June 9's lawsuit challenging the job-killing six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, claiming the moratorium is necessary for safety and challenging the contention that the moratorium's economic effects will be long-lasting.

BP ousts CEO Tony Hayward, turning over day-to-day management to Managing Director Bob Dudley.

US Rep Jo Bonner (AL-01) calls for Joe Barton to step down as ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee after his apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward, frustrating Republican attempts to end that damned dialog, already.

The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board launches yet another investigation (PDF) into the causes of the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster.   This investigation was requested by Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak.

June 19:
That alleged "expert panel" appointed by Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?  Big on left-wing, anti-energy policy, short on experience.

BP CEO Tony Hayward, really does get his life back.

Foreign offers of assistance are left hanging, according to a Press-Register review of State Dept website.

An equipment malfunction and bad weather hamper oil collection efforts at the Macondo Deepwater Horizon well site.

The first three of actor Kevin Costner's centrifuge devices are deployed.

Obama has no public appearances announced for the weekend (round of golf?)

June 20:
Right on cue, Rahm Emanuel tells ABC's "This Week" that Rep. Barton's apology to BP and GOP criticism of Obama's $20 billion shakedown show that it's "dangerous" for Republicans to retake the Congress in November.

"This is not the death of the Gulf," says renowned biologist.

BP document suggests flow rate could be as high as 4.2 million gallons per day.  However, given collection rates and observation of the multiple live ROV feeds, this seems unlikely (for now).

While Alabama's beaches appear clear of oil, more stuff washes ashore in northwest Florida.

June 21:
A team of professors from the University of Alabama say they have a plan to capture and corral oil leaking from the Macondo wellhead.

Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana Federal Court, hears oral arguments and announces that he will rule on the six-month deepwater moratorium in 24 to 48 hours.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal files amicus curiae brief on behalf of the plaintiffs (Hornbeck Offshore Services, et al).

Michael Bromwich is sworn in at "Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement," which we suppose will eventually be the agency that replaces MMS.

On Monday night, CNN's Larry King holds a two-hour telethon for spill response.

BP CEO Tony Hayward shows his sensitive side; cancels appearance at London oil conference, citing his involvement with the spill.

The group of scientists used and abused by the Obama regime to gain credibility for the moratorium meet with Interior Secretary Salazar to persuade him to soften the ban.  Salazar refuses.

June 22:
The co-chair of the White House commission charged with investigating the causes of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, fire and ensuing oil spill says the wacko team won't meet until July and won't issue a report until sometime in 2011.  So much for the "pause button."

The commission also hires Richard Lazarus, Harvard-educated environmental litigator, as its Chief of Staff.

USCG Adm. Thad Allen tells reporters that it would take 3 to 7 days to demobilize and evacuate the spill site if a hurricane were approaching (note: National Hurricane Center advisories only include a 5-day forecast).

In a victory for Bobby Jindal and oil and gas interests from Texas to Alabama, Judge Martin Feldman, US District Court Judge, grants Hornbeck Offshore's request for injunction and lifts the six-month ban on deepwater drilling.

The regime promises to appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals which is based in...  New Orleans.

And... Ken Salazar says he will defy the judge's order and issue a new moratorium. Showdown?

Oil comes ashore again in Louisiana.

In an exclusive interview with HotAir.com's Ed Morrissey, Florida Senator George LeMieux blasts the administration's response to the spill saying, “I don’t see leadership from President Obama.”

June 23:
Federal officials halt dredging of sand to construct berms along the Louisiana coast.

Oil comes ashore again in Baldwin County, Alabama, and in Pensacola, Florida.

Rumor Mill: Sources close to Martin Feldman tell New Orleans area radio stations that if Salazar issues a second moratorium similar to the one he just ruled on, he will have Salazar himself appear in court for a show cause hearing on why he should not be held in contempt (searching for a link). False.

Michael Bromwich, newly sworn-in  to lead the agency formerly known as the Minerals Management Service, announces formation of an investigative unit to handle complaints about the industry and the agency's own personnel.

BP formally hands spill response efforts over to American, Bob Dudley.

Coast Guard says BP has been forced to remove a cap that was containing some of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Several companies accuse the Obama regime of violating Judge Feldman's order barring enforcement of the drilling moratorium, while Salazarovich suggests a kinder, gentler moratorium is forthcoming.

The spill claims a suicide victim.  Please pray for the man's family.

June 24:
The Obama regime seeks a stay in enforcement of the injunction issued Tuesday by a US Federal Judge.  Contrary to media interpretation, Judge Feldman's order does not overturn the moratorium, only suspends its reinforcement while the matter is being litigated.

Feldman denies the request.

Senator Mary Landrieu, D-LA, blasts the Department of Interior and Secretariat Salazarovich over his defiant comments in Senate hearings, as plaintiffs seek immediate enforcement of Feldman's injunction.

Oil comes ashore in Baldwin County, Alabama for the third straight day.

Some oil spill cleanup workers complain about the process, heat and media attention.

The US Small Business Administration is declining more than two-thirds of applications for SBA loans related to the spill.

Judge Feldman receives death threats because of his rulings on the Hornbeck v Salazar case.

June 25:
Gulf Coast shoreline from southern Mississippi to northwest Florida see landfalling oil, in largest oil beaching to date.

BP hires former Clinton FEMA Director, James Lee Witt, as a consultant.

"Damn the tarballs, full speed ahead!"  Nope: Onslaught of oil around Mobile Bay forces the closure of the Mobile Bay Ferry, the boat that President Obama took from Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan on his last visit to the region on June 14. A later report clarifies that the service interruption will be intermittent.

After a "ranging run" test of the alignment, BP says relief well #1 is on target for a mid August intercept, and plans to increase the capture rate from the damaged BOP are also on schedule.

To the dismay of the army of trial lawyers that have descended upon the Gulf Coast, BP and the administrator of the $20 billion shakedown fund say that the money can be used for non-compensational purposes, such as cleanup.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum slams federal response, demands more skimming equipment.


June 26:
Tropical Storm Alex forms in the Caribbean Sea and is forecast to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday.  Long range forecasts and model guidance suggest that it will track well south and west of the leaking Macondo well and oil slicks.

The Jones Act and bureaucratic red tape prevents the mobilization of a Tiawanese-owned, Liberian-flagged massive oil skimming tanker.

Tens of people show up for an anti-drilling protest at Battleship Park in Mobile.

Mississippi Democrat Representative Gene Taylor (MS-04) gets angry and emotional after a flyover of the coast, and calls the federal response to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster "incompetent."
 
The President fails to even mention the Gulf oil spill in his weekly radio address.

June 27:
Echoing Florida Senator LeMieux's comments of June 22, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour complains that 20 skimmers are needed in Mississippi Sound, but there are only two working.

BP performs another "ranging run" on the relief well to test alignment with the Macondo wellbore.

After going nearly 10 weeks relatively unscathed, the Mississippi Gulf Coast finally sees oil come ashore.

June 28:
The introduction of the Helix Producer, a vessel with the capacity to collect 25,000 barrels of oil per day nearly double the current collection capacity, has been delayed because of weather concerns.

The White House releases details about Vice President Joe Biden's trip to the Gulf Coast on Tuesday.

Tropical Storm Alex enters the southern Gulf of Mexico, and outer bands begin moving the slick towards the beach in greater volume.

Heartbreak: These areas of the Mississippi Gulf Coast haven't been closed since Katrina.

June 29:
Vice President Joe Biden arrives in New Orleans.

Federal red tape keeps prized oil skimmers away from the Gulf.

Chaos and confusion reign over administration of BP relief slush funds.

Rough seas due to TS Alex halt skimming operations.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals says it will hear the government's appeal of a lower court's ruling and injunction prohibiting enforcement of the six month deepwater drilling ban.

After 71 days, the US government announces that it will accept additional offers of assistance from foreign vessels.

June 30:
Alex, now a hurricane, kicks up seas, forces more oil onto beaches as skimmers stay in port.

Recovery Czar Ray Mabus says Gulf Coast recovery will be a matter of months, not years.

Independent analysts suggest that the first relief well might be able to kill the spill in as little as 14 days.

Bobby Jindal, on Sean Hannity's radio show, is clearly frustrated and on fire (via Hotair.com).

Chaos and confusion still reign over who is covered by the slush funds established by BP.

Adm. Allen downplays the role of the Jones Act, denies it has hampered spill response operations.

World's largest oil skimmer is headed to the Gulf, but Coast Guard will have final say on whether it's used.

July

July 1:
Flyovers show that Hurricane Alex is helping to break up the slick (link fixed).

Federal officials are still holding up barrier construction in Louisiana.  "The issue with the Corps is almost becoming a joke."

NOAA 72-hour projection maps show a smaller oil slick, but more threatening on the coast (click the image for a larger view).


Adm (ret) Thad Allen calls the oil spill an "indeterminate and omnidirectional threat."  I know, right?

He also says that skimming and collection operations could resume Friday.

Oil penetrates Mobile Bay, begins to affect Fort Morgan and...  Oh no... Navy Cove. Thank you OBPama, for ruining my family's 4th of July at the ancestral home.

July 2:
Thousands of volunteers and dozens of vessels are being ignored by BP and the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard criminalizes media and public access to spill response operations.

Foreign vessels, such as the Topsail Duchess, are apparently being denied access because they're foreign flagged, or something.

The feds decide to take the holiday weekend off, while most state and local officials will be working overtime.

NOAA halts offshore oil slick forecasts, citing smaller slick and distance from Gulf Loop Current.

July 3:
 BP estimates that it has spent $3 billion in response to the oil spill, not including contributions to the $20 billion and $100 million slush funds, and tar balls wash ashore in Texas.

Rough seas, high winds hamper skimming operations.

The Corps of Engineers blocks Jefferson Parish's attempt to protect Barataria Bay using a rip-rap wall.

The President fails to even mention the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in his weekly radio address.

July 4:
Obama plays golf for the eighth time since the deadly April 20 explosion, fire, sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig and ensuing oil spill.

Meanwhile, the feds decide that they'll take over the official website--and become the sole information source--for the response.

Skimmers remain in port due to inclement weather.

July 5:
The "A Whale," a massive Taiwanese-owned tanker converted for oil collection operations, is tested inclusively in the Gulf, with choppy water preventing better evaluation.

July 6:
The Obama administration can't seem to figure out who gets what from the slush funds.

Tarballs have entered Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans.

New, nimbler and faster oil skimming technology is developed and set to deploy this week.

Connection of a new, third containment vessel at the leaking well site is delayed by weather again.

After more than a month of wrangling with red tape, work on the Katrina Cut Fill at Dauphin Island begins.

July 7:
BP's Tony Hayward travels to Abu Dhabi, with speculation that he might be looking for a small loan.

Feds ask appeals court in New Orleans to reinstate offshore drilling ban.

Bad weather continues to hamper oil collection and cleanup activities.

The White House announces that Michelle Obama will pay a visit to the Gulf.  No word on when or why.

BP confirms that the Dept. of Justice has demanded "advance notice" of any significant cash transfers or asset sales.

July 8:
Federal appeals court is hearing arguments on the overturned deepwater drilling moratorium.

Adm. Allen again says the relief well is ahead of schedule, and BP is expected to tell investors that it will have the runaway well capped by July 27.

The regime--busy with four fundraisers today--is skeptical that BP can beat the schedule.

Seas are calming both offshore and nearshore, allowing skimming operations to restart.

The "A Whale" gets another week of testing.

BP is given 24-hours to come up with a plan to replace the existing containment cap and complete the relief wells.

The CostnerFugeTM oil skimmer things set sail for the Gulf and the oil slick.

All hail the rule of law:  5th District Court of Appeals denies Interior's request to restore the deepwater drilling moratorium.

July 9:
Admiral Allen announces that the Lower Marine Riser Pipe (existing containment cap) will be replaced with a tighter fitting one over the weekend, and the Helix Producer will be brought online.

Navy Blimp MZ-3A arrives in New Orleans to assist in oil reconnaissance efforts.

Thick oil slops ashore in marshes along Hancock County, Mississippi, just east of New Orleans.

Anadarko, a partner with BP on the blown-out Macondo well, refuses to pay for spill-related costs.

Lab tests performed by the Coast Guard show that the Texas Tarballs are not from the Macondo spill.

Inevitable: Jesse Jackson makes an appearance in South Louisiana. 

July 10:
Work to replace the LMRP with "Top Hat 10" begins.

BP and USCG acknowledges the existence of a second pipe wedged in the riser, possibly leading to the BOP failure.

The Obamatorium's uncertainty sends first deepwater rig for Egypt.

Adm. Allen issues a statement, approving a cap and contain plan that started approximately 12:01 am local time.

Controversial former LSU professor Ivor van Heerden appears in a BP video, downplaying the environmental effects of the oil spill (and he's right).

Obama finalizes plans for his third vacation since the oil spill began (via Gateway Pundit)

The President fails to even mention the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in his weekly radio address. 

July 11:
The Gulf Coast welcomes native son Jimmy Buffet for a free concert in Gulf Shores.

Multiple wire and cable TV reports say BP is unloading assets to raise cash.

AG Holder tells CBS' Face the Nation that his criminal witch hunt is continuing.

BP says installation of the new cap is running ahead of schedule.

Obama plays golf for the ninth time since the April 20 explosion, fire and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 men and began the country's worst ever oil spill.

Despicable: The innocent wife of an oil executive is injured by a bomb left on her doorstep (Via Confederate Yankee)

July 12:
The unqualified presidential Deepwater Horizon commission meets in New Orleans for the first time. Inevitably, the proceedings are interrupted by an outburst from a Code Pinko "concerned citizen."  The commission hears from BP Exec Kent Wells, but asks no probative questions about the incident's causes.

Capping procedure is completed ahead of schedule, with ambitions of shutting off the flow of oil as early as this week, following well integrity tests.

Trajectory forecasts show a shrinking slick, but more oil coming ashore from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle (click image for larger view).

The regime issues a new moratorium on deepwater drilling.

Michelle Obama visits the Gulf Coast, declaring Panama City Beaches "Oil Free."


July 13:
Testing of the newly installed well cap continues.

US Coast Guard backs down on restricted media access to boomed areas.

International Energy Agency projections show that the regime's deepwater moratorium is having the desired, chilling effect on production.

Harrison County officials move forward with a containment curtain, despite reservations from neighbors and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

Diamond Offshore moves a second rig out of the Gulf, sending the Ocean Confidence to waters off the Republic of Congo, taking hundreds of jobs with it.

Deepwater Horizon Commission goes off the reservation, expressing concern over the economic impact of the drilling moratorium.

BP gets its fourth bill from the government--this one for a cool $100 million.

The regime announces Obama plans to visit the Gulf Coast again "soon," but chooses to vacation in Maine and Martha's Vineyard instead.

BP delays critical pressure tests on the new well cap, at the regime's command. 

July 14:
All work on the new cap--and the relief well drilling--was halted by the regime. Testing of the new cap restarted at approximately 4:00 pm.

The first of the Kemp Ridley's Sea Turtle hatchlings rescued from Gulf Coast beaches are released into the Atlantic.  Fair winds and following seas to ya.

Another step on the slippery slope: House Energy Committee passes amendment banning future offshore oil and gas drilling leases.

But the House Natural Resources Committee approved its own oil spill commission, in defiance of the regime's wishes.

July 15:
BP continues testing the integrity of the well by closing vents and valves on the new capping system, after repairing a leak in the system overnight.

New oil trajectory maps show an ever shrinking slick and almost no shoreline impact.  Click the image for a large view.

At 2:26pm CDT, all valves were closed on the cap stack and the choke line was engaged, closing off the runaway Macondo well for the first time in 86 days.

July 16:
The capping stack enters its second day of holding the well in check.  Meanwhile...

BP is accelerating its liquidation of assets in efforts to raise cash.

BP and the government open a bidding war to corral scientists.

BP says claims payments have passed the $200 million mark.

Obama leaves for a vacation in Maine, but briefly mentions the capping success in statements on the White House lawn.  It is is first mention of the crisis since his June 16 visit.

Heartache: Coast Guard announces that "A Whale" is a bust.

July 17:
The capping stack is now in Day 3 of holding the oil in the well.

Once again, the President fails to mention the Gulf Oil spill in his weekly radio address.

July 18:
The capping stack is now in Day 4 of holding the oil in the well, and BP says it may do so until the relief wells are finished killing Macondo.

WKRG tests sand and water samples along Gulf Coast beaches, with "explosive" results.  Looks like BP has some beach polishing to do...

LA Senator David Vitter accuses the Obama regime of trying to shift the oil spill "off the front page."


BP and the government appear to have different plans for the capping system.  BP wants to leave it shut; the government wants to "unplug the damned hole."

Government official says there is a possible seepage near the Macondo well, and alleges that BP is no longer cooperating with government demands for monitoring.

July 19:
The capping system is now in Day 5 of containing the well.

The NY Times presents evidence that the government halted a BP plan to install a new blowout preventer weeks ago.

The government reconvenes the joint DOI and USCG investigatory panel.

Long range forecasts suggest that the fair weather window that allowed the capping procedure may be closing.

Scientists say oil discovered to be "seeping" from the Gulf floor is not related to BP's Macondo well.

With the Macondo well capped (for now), focus shifts to cleanup.

July 20:
Day 6 of the successful test of the capping system, with pressures continuing to rise.

BP and Adm. Allen confirm that plans for static  kill procedure are in the works.

Despite not having any significant landfalling oil in weeks, Florida residents whine about the oil spill.

Feds confirm that seepage is not coming from Macondo well, and small leaks around the caps are equipment leaks, not crude.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King suggests that the Gulf States may sue over the BP $20 billion slush fund administration.

BP begins the process of liquidating some assets to help raise cash for the spill response.

July 21:
Day 7 of no leaking oil.


Tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents turn out for a Rally for Economic Survival at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, LA, in protest of the drilling moratorium.

Some Alabama inshore waters are opened to shrimping.

BP puts a temporary plug on the relief well and begins mobilizing the Discovery Driller III for evacuation from a potential Tropic StormGovernment may order the cap taken off.

More reports that BP had prior knowledge of systems' problems aboard the fated Deepwater Horizon.

House approves drilling safety and cleanup measures, but won't take up legislation to stop ill-advised moratoria on deepwater drilling.  What's the point?

July 22:
Day 8 of no leaking oil. But...


The surface fleet at the Macondo site begins preparations for evacuation, in advance of what could become Tropical Storm or Hurricane Bonnie.

VP Joe Biden visits the Theodore, Alabama boom staging area.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King announces a lawsuit against BP, on behalf of the state.

Adm. Allen tells reporters that the well will remain capped even if the site is evacuated.

St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis threatens to arrest anyone moving the barges from Lake Pontchartrain.

NOAA re-opens some of the Gulf to fishing. 

July 23:
Day 9, and still holding. 


Michelle Obama returns to the Gulf Coast, this time visiting Pascagoula, Mississippi to christen a new Coast Guard cutter.

The ships, drill rigs and production vessels attending the Macondo site begin an orderly evacuation in advance of TS Bonnie.

The joint Marine Investigation hearings reveal that alarms were disabled on the Deepwater Horizon for as long as a year before the fateful night.

BP quietly considers throwing CEO Tony Hayward under the bus.

July 24:
Day 10, and still holding.

As Bonnie puffs out, ships and drill rigs remobilize to the Macondo site.

For the fifth straight week, Obama fails to even mention the Gulf oil spill in his weekly radio address.  Does he even care?

July 25:
Day 11 and still holding.

Obama plays golf for at least the 10th time since the oil spill began.

Work resumes at the wellsite.

Adm. Allen says the relief well a static kill procedure will begin on Macondo this week.

July 26:
Day 12, and still holding.

NOAA spill trajectory maps show smallest concentrations of oil seen in months.

Lynyrd Skynyrd announces plans to Rock the Beach.

Hayward is forced out; will step down October 1, 2010, and get his life back.

White House sends political operatives to the Gulf Coast.  Hmmm.

July 27:
Day 13 and STILL holding.

The ever-shrinking oil slick successfully evades detection by crack ABC News team.

White House denies that there is a political motive for sending political operatives to the Gulf Coast.  Hmmmmmmm...

Both BP and the government remain strangely silent on when the $20 billion shakedown slush fund will be created. Fund Czar Ken Feinberg agrees to disclose his compensation for administration.

The deepwater drilling moratorium is broadsided from both sides of the aisle during a Senate hearing.

July 28: 
Day 14 of successful containment on Day 100 of the oil spill crisis.

Criminal investigations likely to target Transocean and Halliburton for alleged transgressions that happened years before and miles away from the Deepwater Horizon rig.

The storm plug comes out of the relief well, and static kill procedures on the runaway well are set for next week.

BP takes a $10 billion tax break for its oil spill response, basically paying for half of the slush fund.

July 29:
Day 15, baby.

The static kill procedure (consisting of pumping mud, then cement, down the capping stack) might start as early as this weekend, says Allen.

Has the damage caused by the oil spill been exaggerated? 

July 30:
Day 16 of complete well control.

Debris found in the bottom of the relief well stalls static kill effort, even though the static kill effort is completely unrelated to relief well drilling ("static kill" is a top down procedure, while the relief wells are a bottom up procedure.  No one asks Admiral Allen why the two seem conflated).

The House of Representatives--dominated by drilling-opposed Democrats--votes to end the deepwater drilling moratorium.

Oyster areas are opened by state officials.

July 31:
Day 17 and the well is still under control.

Secretariat Salazarovich tours region and remains adamant about the deepwater drilling moratorium.  Asshole.

Local officials lift ban on swimming in Gulf waters. We went swimming.

BP begins scaling back cleanup activities.

August

August 1:
Turn the calendar page one more time....

Day 18 and still no new oil in the Gulf.

Missing oil "baffles" officials.

Allen says "static kill" may start as early as tomorrow, and has a "refreshing and productive" meeting with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal about the transition from response to recovery.

BP's Doug Suttles said he'd eat fish from the Gulf, and feed it to his family, too.

August 2:
Day 19 and still no new oil in the Gulf.

EPA says dispersants do not increase toxicity in the Gulf of Mexico, even when mixed with the crude from the Macondo well.


BP begins injection test on the containment cap in advance of the static kill procedure, and hedges on the relief wells.  Whatcha wanna bet BP has plans to bring this reservoir into production?  Two billion gallons of oil?

Oil spill recovery czar Ray Mabus holds meetings in south Alabama.

Officials may open a "late snapper season" for recreational anglers. 

August 3:
Day 20 and STILL holding.

New estimates from the government place the amount of oil leaked into the Gulf at about 173 million gallons.

Tests suggest dispersant may be washing ashore at some beaches. 

BP pledges to speed up business claims processing until Feinberg's slush fund kitty is filled.

Static kill of the well begins Tuesday afternoon.

August 4:
Day 21 and ...  you get the idea.

BP declares victory with the static kill, saying that the drilling mud is holding back the flow of hydrocarbons.

NOAA's 72-hour oil slick trajectory forecast shows now observable oil anywhere in the Gulf, and begins issuing notices that the product is nearing the end of its useful life.  Click the image for the full version.

The White House's Carol Browner says three-quarters of the oil from the spill has been cleaned up, burned off, or broken down by the warm, microbe-rich Gulf of Mexico.

Government has "high confidence" that no more oil is likely to leak into the Gulf of Mexico.

The dispersant bug-a-boos simply won't go away; insist that the effects of stuff with all the toxicity of DawnTM dish washing liquid might be bad.

Lefties are upset that the government says most of the oil is gone. 

August 5:
BP is now pushing cement down the choke line, which should kill the well for good.

And at 2:15 pm CDT, the cementing job was finished.

August 6:
BP claims success in cementing job, plans pressure tests, and announces personnel changes.

The company also said that it would like to again try tapping the reservoir feeding the Macondo well.

Meanwhile, the government will probably "arrest" the failed blowout preventer as evidence in its investigations over the cause of the disaster.

August 7: 
BP disputes that it plans to shut down the controversial and much fought over "Vessels of Opportunity" program.

And the company doesn't seem to satisfy those with questions about its claims process.

For the seventh straight week, Obama fails to even mention the situation in the Gulf of Mexico during his weekly radio address.

August 8:
Defining week in oil spill wraps up.

Admiral Allen gives BP a "mixed grade" on oil spill response.

Swimmers at Dauphin Island, Alabama report being "covered with oil."

August 9:
Slow news days in the Gulf are a good thing.

BP makes first $3 billion deposit into the $20 billion slush fund with eligibility rules that no one has defined yet.

Relief well expected to intercept damaged oil well in Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.  End game, baby.  No oil now for weeks, but finishing the RW is calling in the dogs and pissing on the fire.

BP stock up 36 percent since late June.

Spike Lee: It's a 'lie' that 75 percent of the Gulf oil spill oil is gone.

August 10:
Storm in Gulf will stop relief well drilling.


BP oil spill lawsuits sent to Louisiana 

Fishermen head back to shrimping waters.

August 11:
 Tropical depression halts well drilling

Texas sues the Dept of Interior over the deepwater drilling moratorium.

Obama administration releases fund agreement with BP in Gulf oil spill.  It's about time.

Thad Allen preparing to leave oil spill response post.  Exit planning.

Deepwater Horizon rig will not be salvaged.  Left as a solemn tomb for the eleven lost. +

August 12:
Relief well drilling resumes after another tropical system falls apart.

Alabama sues BP et al over the oil spill.

 Gulf leaders wary over wavering on final plug.

 You knew this was gonna happen.  'Fake fishermen' conning BP out of Gulf of Mexico compensation money.

August 13:
News reports conflict on the future of the relief well drilling.

Oil washes up on Baldwin County beaches again.

Obamas to spend about 24 hours in Panama City; 10 days in more affluent Martha's Vineyard

August 14:
Obamas visit Panama City, play mini golf.

Allen demands more tests before proceeding with the relief well, which will be officially behind schedule tomorrow.

Weathered tar patches continue to wash up on area beaches.

August 15:
Things are really slowing down.

Obama goes for a motoboat ride and considers ending the deepwater drilling moratorium a little early.  Thank you, thank you, dear leader!

Completion of relief well to plug Gulf oil leak at least days away. Final shot could come this week.

August 16:
State officials reopen Alabama waters to fishing, but it may be too late to salvage the season.

After oil spill, Gulf seafood goes under intense spotlight. 

Georgia scientists claim 80% of the oil is still in the water, lurking like a monster, or something.

August 17:
Louisiana shrimpers reporting clean 1st day catch

August 18:

Fla. reopens Panhandle to shrimping

Mississippi attorney general in no hurry to sue BP over Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Still no estimate on completion date of relief well.

August 19:
BP Can Replace Blow-Out Preventer before continuing with the relief well.  Might as well wait for the US Marshals, though.  And, the relief well will not be completed until August.  Looks like this timeline runs for a few more weeks.

BP accused of withholding Deepwater Horizon evidence

Administration SLAMMED for too rosy a view.

August 21-22:
 Massive oil plume found underwater by scientists Said to have found 50 parts per billion.
 
 $60 million in oil spill fund to be set aside for real estate brokers and agents

Admiral Allen Issues Directive to BP Authorizing the BOP Fishing Procedure.  Authorizes the salvage of the BOP preventer, a key piece of evidence.

Experts: Shrimp safe, but yields low.  Issue appears to be timing and the lower number of shrimpers working the waters, NOT missing shrimp.

BP begins looking for mystery pipe.  A piece of drill pipe that could have been responsible for the failure of the BOP to shut off the flow of oil could be another key piece of evidence.

August 22:
Memorandum shows Obama knoew that 23K workers affected by moratorium, before he reissued it.

Feinberg Says No-sue Requirement Was His Idea.  Makes it easier for BP to escape litigation, harder for claimants to sue later. Hmm...

August 23:
Ken Feinberg officially takes over BP claims process; says he'll be more generous than any court.

In Houston, federal investigatory board resumes hearings. 

A BP staging area in Theodore is shut down by an ammonia leak at a nearby refrigeration plant.

BP announces plans to retrieve the failed blowout preventer this week (Thursday), and the relief well is still set for completion after Labor Day (approximately 3 weeks behind schedule), after it fishes out sections of the drill pipe lodged inside.

August 24:
A new oil-eating microbe is discovered in the Gulf, dining on the Macondo crude and not consuming all the Oxygen.

BP Engineer Brian Morel, the "nightmare well" email author, pleads the Fifth before the Marine Board.

August 25:
BP Vice President Harry Thierens tells investigators that Transocean made changes to the blowout preventer, costing precious time in trying to operate the device.

BP is now running 24 to 36 hours behind schedule in removing the drill pipe sections from the damaged blowout preventer from the sea floor.

August 26:
BP again disagrees with Thad Allen on need for relief well completion.

August 27:
BP has failed to extract the drill pipe from the BOP, and now moves forward with pulling it.

Testimony: BP managers ignored warning signs before spill. Duh.

Feds:  We're having BP remove the cap before we remove the blowout preventer.  Oil to spill again?  Probably not, but assets are on stand-by.

August 28-30:
Blowout preventer removal is delayed--again.

BP internal report faults its own engineers.

September

September 1:
Judge rules against Obama's deepwater drilling moratorium, again.

September 2:
Another rig goes boom in the Gulf.


The temporary cap (the one that closed off the oil flow on July 15) comes off, in preparation of removing the blowout preventer on the sea floor.  The BOP will be a key piece of evidence in the ongoing investigations.

September 5:
The blowout preventer is removed from the well and hoisted to the surface. US Marshalls promptly "arrested it."

September 6:
Dept. of Justice officials refuse to confirm that the blowout preventer is on its way to shore, but the device is believed to be headed to NASA's Michoud facility in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.

September 8:
BP releases the results of its internal investigation of the blowout, explosion and fire that sunk the rig.

September 10:
Admiral Allen now says that the relief well will slip until late next week, but could slip as late as the last week of September.

September 11:
The failed BOP arrives at the NASA facility at Michoud near New Orleans.

September 13:
Relief well drilling resumes.

September 17:
Statement from Adm. Thad Allen says that the relief well has intersected Macondo.

The beginning of the end:  Cement starts to flow from the relief well in the final bottom kill procedure.


September 19:
In a statement released by the government, Admiral Thad Allen (RET) states that the last pressure tests confirm that the Macondo well is dead; the Gulf Oil Spill has come to an anticlimactic end.  Tomorrow, September 20, 2010, marks five months since the Deepwater Horizon exploded, caught fire and sank, killing 11 men and starting the worst marine oil spill in US History.




Page linked by:
Doug Ross @ Journal
The Jawa Report.
Atlas Shrugs
Guy Average
Politi Fi
LaurenceJarvikOnline 
Philangelus
Saucy American in NZ
triplepundit
The Oil Drum 

23 comments:

jim said...

Absolutely an amazing amount of work my friend thanks, Jim

GulfCoastBamaFan said...

Thank you for the compliment. It's my goal to maintain this as well as one man can, and keep it up as an archival record of events surrounding the disaster.

Guy Average said...

This will be one of the only records of this kind anywhere. It is important that it be archived so that the truth of this event in history can be documented, because the Old Media and The Left will revise the true historical account ASAP. Thank You!

Anonymous said...

So did the Obama administration purposely let this spill get worse to exploit a crisis to get Cap-and-Trade passed? We are starting to see the arguments being made the CnT is needed to prevent future spills. What other explaination is reasonable for such incompetence?

Anonymous said...

I recall reports of SWAT teams being sent out at some time..early on..Was that bogus? Thanks for putting all your time into this.

GulfCoastBamaFan said...

I'm pretty sure the SWAT team story was a rumor caused during the confusion during the regime's WTF moment at the end of April. I think it was a conflation of two stories circulating at the time. One was that Obama had ordered MMS to send inspection teams to conduct a safety review of all deepwater rigs. That inspection was completed and the report issued May 12. The other story surrounded a group of SWAT teams that were either conducting or wrapping up some training in the area during the same time.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work on the time line. I do, however, notice an ommission and that is that Oilbama has turned away oil tankers from other nations who've offered their assistance, saying he's restricted by the Jones Act.

http://www.dailymarkets.com/economy/2010/06/08/why-did-the-us-refuse-international-help-on-the-gulf-oil-spill/

http://www.therightscoop.com/incompetent-obama-and-bp-turned-down-dutch-help-with-gulf-oil-spill-3-days-in-now-they-finally-accept

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2010/06/12/what-is-the-jones-act-and-why-wont-obama-waive-it/

GulfCoastBamaFan said...

Thanks for the heads up. Please see the entries for April 23 and June 8.

Anonymous said...

Oops. I don't know how I missed those before. My apologies to you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we waited each of these 60 or so days since the blast for work to commence, it seemed that a lot of nothing was happening each day. It was so very frustrating. Seeing it laid out here in the timeline you created, it's plain to see that, if anything, our frustration was an underreaction. It really was a whole lotta' nothing happening every day, at least as far as cleaning up the mess goes.

Anonymous said...

I am thankful for all your efforts. One question: "Tony Hayward tells ABC Good Morning A.M. that BP is not solely responsible for the accident", did I miss something? Who else could be responsible. Is he referring to a possible terrorist attack or sabotage, or what? Just curious?

GulfCoastBamaFan said...

"Is he referring to a possible terrorist attack or sabotage, or what? Just curious?"

I found the link to the video and just updated that entry for May 3.

He was referring to Transocean, which was under contract to BP to drill the well. He was laying responsibility for the accident on them. However, from the June 14 "document dump" from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, we now know that BP was complicit in the decisions to cut corners "down hole."

There has been no credible evidence of sabotage or a terrorist attack. By all accounts, this is just a terrible accident that no one was prepared for.

Lisa G in NZ said...

This is a GREAT timeline starting in April.

Have you considered updating it to go back a bit to the reports BP made about serious leaks and cracks they were fighting in FEB? Apparently BP had asked the Feds for help... so they knew this well or area had some major problems? I find this VERY curious, don't you?

Discussed at Fox: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/06/21/kevin-mccullough-obama-bp-spill-february-salazar-resign-change/

"according to documents in the administration's possession, BP was fighting large cracks at the base of the well for roughly ten days in early February."

Details at Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-17/bp-struggled-with-cracks-in-gulf-well-as-early-as-february-documents-show.html

"On Feb. 13, BP told the minerals service it was trying to seal cracks in the well about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, drilling documents obtained by Bloomberg show. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the fissures played a role in the disaster. "

- and -

"On March 10, BP executive Scherie Douglas e-mailed Frank Patton, the mineral service’s drilling engineer for the New Orleans district, telling him: “We’re in the midst of a well control situation.”

The incident was a “showstopper,” said Robert Bea, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has consulted with the Interior Department on offshore drilling safety. “They damn near blew up the rig.”


When did the BP CEO sell 1/3 of his stock? couple weeks before the explosion, right? hmmmm...

http://saucyusa.blogspot.com/2010/06/bho-screwing-usa-bp-to-protect-soros.html

GulfCoastBamaFan said...

I did consider adding a section for "pre-incident" events, but that's probably better suited for a blog post rather than a timeline dealing with the response. Thanks for the resources, though!

Anonymous said...

I'm originally from Mobile, and am currently stationed in Savannah, GA with the US Army. This time line is a great help for me in keeping up with all the shenanigans that have been happening back home regarding all this crap. Thank you for the effort, and keep up the good work.

One thing I must point out... The link referring to flyovers showing that the storm was breaking up the slick comes up as "Not Found Error 404". Could you update/fix that, in case some other prodigal children are looking in on this? Again, thanks for the hard work and dedicated effort.

Anonymous said...

BP + BO = BS

Anonymous said...

I must say first of all, great time line. I especially like the media links and thoroughness (although I may not necessarily always agree with your political opinions).

The reason that I am posting is that I am an academic who is in the process of doing a school assigned project and would like your permission in adding a link to this site as a reference source. It is unlikely that the project that our group is undertaking will ever see the light of day but I always like to obtain permissions. I assure you it will not reflect badly upon yourself or this extraordinary amount of work.

GulfCoastBamaFan said...

You're free to use any of the material here for academic purposes. That's what it's here for. Just be sure and give this site proper credit.

Good luck with your project and if there's an online component to it, send us a link to it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tag My Friends said...

It was/still an awful incident. I think it was the worst event in 2010.

UAAlum94 said...

Hard to believe it's been two years since that disaster. Okaloosa and Walton counties have recovered nicely. Spring break visitors were off the charts. Summer guests are expected to be above average as well despite the high gas prices.

This timeline is excellent documentation on how bad the administration handled the incident. They have to go in November.

Osama El Masry said...

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I G Sahhar said...

Anyone meet or hear any reports/interviews with ANY of the survivors or with family members of the 11 that died? ANY!?

I G Sahhar said...

Anyone see/hear ANY interview with the survivors of this accident, or with the families of the 11 who died? ANY?!

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