BP background info and oil spill timeline

Below is a timeline of the BP oil spill referred to as the “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.”

Details below include: Two weeks after the initial accident the President visits the spill. The first mention of the oil spill in the daily press briefings occurred two weeks after the explosion. One month after the spill an executive order is issued to form a Committee. The US continues to state that it will evaluate the offers of help from other countries and will make decisions very, very soon. That decision comes over a month later when the US accepts help from Mexico and Norway only. Nearly two months later, on June 15 the President will address the nation about the spill. The President schedules an initial meeting with BP officials nearly two months after the accident with Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and possibly Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward on June 16, 2010.   

Top Oil Producers

Source: US Energy Information Admin

On (Tuesday) April 20, 2010 —  at approximately 10:00 p.m. central time a fire onboard a Transocean Ltd semisubmersible drilling rig occurred on the Deepwater Horizon in the United States Gulf of Mexico. (Read how most of the weathering processes, such as evaporation, dispersion, dissolution and sedimentation, lead to the NATURAL disappearance of oil from the surface of the sea)

President visits spill:
May 2, 2010 — 1st visit
May 28, 2010 –2nd visit
June 4, 2010 — 3rd visit
June 14, 2010 — 4th visit

(Monday) April 26, 2010 — Governor Jindal issues Executive Order to fly flags at half-staff in honor of oil rig explosion victims

(Thursday) April 29, 2010 — Governor Jindal issues State Declaration of Emergency for oil leak.
Governor Jindal sends letters to Dept. of Defense and Dept. of Homeland Security Requesting National Guard

(Friday) April 30, 2010 — Governor Jindal requests U.S. Commerce Secretary declare a commercial fisheries failure in Louisiana & requests SBA Administrator activate Federal Disaster Declaration to help small businesses impacted by the oil spill

(Saturday) May 1, 2010 — Governor Bobby Jindal sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis of the U.S. Department of Labor requesting through the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 for disaster related workforce training and job placement services and unemployment benefit services for workers displaced as a result of the oil spill.

Daily press briefing (Tuesday) May 4, 2010 — 12 nations have offered oil spill assistance ranging from expertise to equipment. US “grateful for offers of assistance.” US says it will continue to work closely with our colleagues in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the lead agency and one of its key components, the United States Coast Guard, regarding which of these offers is ultimately accepted.

When queried which 12-odd nations and international organizations offered help the official response was that our government would not release that information.

Governor Bobby Jindal sends letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting that the SBA issue an economic injury disaster declaration for six parishes. The economic injury disaster declaration would make available Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to small businesses and private, non-profits in the declared parishes and contiguous parishes that have been impacted by the oil spill. 
Daily press briefing (Wednesday) May 5, 2010 — 13 countries and entities, the United Nations and a number of countries who have offered oil spill assistance. The nature of the assistance that has been offered by many, many friends and neighbors in this hemisphere and elsewhere include oil dispersant, booms, skimmers, oil pumps, and engineers and other experts. And as we – as I said yesterday, the Coast Guard is taking the lead in terms of evaluating what we need, but we do expect to make decisions on some of these offers of assistance in the next day or two. The Coast Guard has taken the lead in evaluation of assistance.

Daily press briefing (Thursday) May 6, 2010 — US releases identity of  countries offering oil spill assistance: Canada, France, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the UK/ EU Monitoring and Information Center coordinating in Europe. “…the Coast Guard, the lead agency in this response, continues to assess those offers of assistance to see if there will be something that we will need in the near future.”

Governor Jindal signs Executive Order for Emergency Procurement Procedures

Governor Bobby Jindal sent the following letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting that the SBA issue an economic injury disaster declaration for 13 additional parishes.

 Daily press briefing (Friday) May 7, 2010 — Two additional nations offered assistance — Vietnam and Japan — bringing the number of countries offering assistance to 15. ” We continue to evaluate the offers that we have received and will make decisions very, very soon.”

Daily press briefing (Monday) May 10, 2010 — Two additional offers of assistance come over the weekend from the United Arab Emirates and Russia. Seventeen countries have now offered assistance.

Daily press briefing (Thursday) May 20, 2010 — Both in writing and in word Cuba and Mexico have been informed of the oil spill. The Bahamas are now being contacted.

May 21, 2010 — President Obama executes an Executive Order to establish a National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Appointed by the President, the Commission will consist of no more than 7 members and provide recommendations on how the nation can prevent — and mitigate the impact of — any future spills that result from offshore drilling. By June 14 the bi-partisan commission was completed:
Bob Graham who formerly acted as democratic two-term Florida governor and U.S. Senator; former Admin. of the EPA William K. ReillyFrances G. Beinecke, President of the non-profit corp. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Donald Boesch, President, Univ. of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; Terry D. Garcia, Exec. VP of mission programs for the National Geographic Society; Cherry A. Murray, Dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS);  Frances Ulmer, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).

Daily press briefing (Wednesday) May 26, 2010 — Offers of assistance from 17 countries/other offers received from international organizations. US accepts help from Mexico and Norway. U.S. thanks — but refuses all other offers of assistance.

May 27, 2010 (Thursday) — President Obama announces a six month moratorium on new deepwater oil drilling permits will be continued while a presidential commission investigates.

Daily press briefing (Monday) June 7, 2010 — The Department of State sent a diplomatic note to the Government of Canada (the previous friday) informing them of the Unified Area Command’s decision to accept Canada’s offers of 300 meters of ocean boom for the ongoing – deal with the effects of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf. The boom is expected to arrive in the Gulf area on Tuesday (June 8). The United States Government paid for the boom out of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The U.S. will reimburse Canada for the transportation of the boom and for as much boom as is actually used, up to a total of $3 million. We (the US) anticipate that BP will, in turn, reimburse the Government for this expenditure.

Daily press briefing (Wednesday) June 9, 2010 — When asked if the US is reviewing any potential donors for the oil spill, or gone back to anybody and made specific requests: We have been doing for a few weeks now …given the increasing impact of the oil spill and the expected duration of mitigation efforts, both the United States and BP have been surveying the – both the original countries, the 17 that offered assistance, as well as a wider range of countries just to kind of get an inventory of where equipment might be – booms, sweepers, other things that we could draw upon as we go – continue to go through efforts to contain the impact of the oil spill.

June 9, 2010 (Wednesday) — During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., pressed Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary, Ken Salazar, to explain the Administration’s decision to place a 6-month moratorium on all deepwater drilling operations. Landrieu expressed that the moratorium may affect as much as 13% of the workforce in Louisiana alone. View YouTube Video

Daily press briefing (Thursday) June 10, 2010 — BP is a private company — not about relations between the United States and United Kingdom. Expectations that the President and Prime Minister Cameron will have the opportunity to talk and see each other in the coming days. A G-20 meeting coming up — fully expect that this will be a topic discussed.

Daily press briefing (Monday) June 14, 2010 — Asked about updated offers of assistance for the oil spill? The Canadians, and those booms have arrived in Alabama. We have been surveying other countries. …as of this point, we have not accepted any additional offers of assistance

India’s space agency has provided satellite imageries of the oil spill in the Gulf.

June 15, 2010 — Nearly two months later, the President will address the nation about the spill. Presumably to promote his cap and trade agenda. (Read how energy independence/green movement/climate change and various other snappy terms = “cap and trade” and how it will effect you financially)

BP receives permit from the government to burn off the oil.

Daily press briefing (Monday) June 15, 2010 —The US has received additional offers of assistance. Qatar has offered containment boom, Sweden has followed up on an earlier offer of assistance to include skimmers. This brings the total number of countries offering assistance to 18. Meanwhile, the International Maritime Organization has coordinated a response to our call for information on sources of boom. They have identified sources of boom in 10 countries, including Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Kenya, Norway, Spain, and Tunisia.

To date the US has accepted four offers of assistance from Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, and Canada. BP has been also sourcing various equipment – skimmers, busters, boom – and technical experts worldwide from a fairly significant number of countries. 

US declares that offers are mostly to sell supplies. “…And in determining whether to accept these offers, we look at the availability of domestic sources and also compare pricing on the open market.”

June 16, 2010 — The President had an initial meeting with BP officials nearly two months after the accident with Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and possibly Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward. Although the meeting lasted hours, the president was present for about 20 minutes. BP agreed to place $20 billion into an escrow account run by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg to cover damage claims from the spill. Kenneth Feinberg — the “independent third party arbitrator” is currently the U.S. government’s pay czar.

September 7, 2010 — An exclusive report released by Matt Cover published on CNS News online: “U.S. Government loaned Mexican Government more than $1 billion to drill oil in Gulf of Mexico last year; has $1 billion more planned for this year”. A search of “news” on the US Export-Import Bank website with keywords [gulf of mexico PEMEX] indeed comes up with proof that our country is promoting Mexico’s advancement in the Gulf. There seems to be a recurring guaranteed lender as well.

September 15, 2010 — The Interior Department orders gas and oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico permanently plug all inactive wells and production platforms must be dismantled that are not in use. There are currently almost 3,000 inactive wells and 650 production platforms that are not in use. The process involves scrapping steel platforms, iron and pipelines or they can be turned into artificial reliefs. Some well owners are already out of business — some of the platforms are  40 to 50 years old.

October 12, 2010 — The Obama administration lifted the moratorium on deep-water drilling for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Editors comment: The lifting of the moratorium (in my opinion) is symbolic. The wells have now been sealed and platforms removed by federal order a month prior. The corporations have no doubt secured drilling in other parts of the world.

Notes on BP — Americans own 40% of BP stock shares either directly or indirectly through pension funds, retirement funds and other institutional investors for whom the dividend is a crucial revenue stream.

BP is one of the world’s largest energy companies and is the largest producer in deepwater fields globally. BP finds, develops, produces and transports oil and gas to market. Employing over 80,000 people and operates in over 100 countries  — and markets its product in over 80 countries. BP owns — either wholly or partly — 16 refineries. BP owns and manages crude oil and natural gas pipelines including its interests in the Trans Alaska pipeline system.

Geographically, 2009 energy demand fell sharply in every region of the world, except for the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Growth was below the ten year average while energy growth was concentrated in China and India, where consumption rose by 8.7% and 6.6%, respectively — consumption grew faster than GDP in these areas.

Fitch Ratings downgraded BP’s credit rating six notches to just above junk June 16, 2010, amid growing concern about the potential financial impact on the company from the oil spill.

Because of a sliding value, BP is now vulnerable to a bidding approach from one of the worlds’ largest oil companies — China’s state-owned oil giant PetroChina. Other opportunists include Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobile.

Immediately after the meeting with the President on June 16, 2010 The Times UK headline read: BP caves in to Obama damands announcing that BP would be “setting up $20bn compensation fund and would not be paying shareholders any dividend. Ken Feinberg, who ran 9/11 compensation fund, will run BP scheme…”


2 Responses to BP background info and oil spill timeline

  1. RoyanGuy says:

    The oil spill is nothing to laugh at but I just saw a kid wearing a t-shirt that cracked me up. BP – We’re bring oil to America’s shores. I died laughing because BP’s billion dollar image change to their new sunflower logo is forever going to be associated with the worst environmental disaster to strike America. Check out the shirt here – http://bit.ly/bJAuTb

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