Oil Spill on the way to Our Beach!!

Discussion of Gulf Oil Spill regarding Navarre Beach, Florida; the good, bad and ugly reports; however most of the reports of oil on Navarre Beach are good!
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Navarrian
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Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:55 pm

My prayers for the oil slick to avoid us began April 23rd. :wink: The next event will be when they burn the oil slick. The smoke and odor of burning oil covering our beautiful area for a number of days will prevail. Those of you with breating issues...if you think the pollen is bad now.... brace yourselves.


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Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:56 pm

PRESS RELEASE FROM:

Justin Kenney
NOAA Director of Communications & External Affairs
Office: 202-482-6090
Cell: 202-821-6310
Email: justin.kenney@noaa.gov

DATE: April 28, 2010 10:17:02 CST

Controlled burn scheduled to begin

NEW ORLEANS - The response to BP/Transocean's Deepwater Horizon incident continues as responders have scheduled a controlled, on-location burn to begin at approximately 11 a.m. CDT today-a strategy designed to minimize environmental risks by removing large quantities of oil in the Gulf of Mexico following the April 20 explosion.

Part of a coordinated response combining tactics deployed above water, below water, dozens of miles offshore, as well as closer to coastal areas, today's controlled burn will remove oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and marine and other wildlife.

Workboats will consolidate oil into a fire resistant boom approximately 500 feet long. This oil will then be towed to a more remote area, where it will be ignited and burned in a controlled manner. The plan calls for small, controlled burns of several thousand gallons of oil lasting approximately one hour each.

No populated areas are expected to be affected by the controlled burn operations and there are no anticipated impacts to marine mammals and sea turtles. In order to ensure safety, the Environmental Protection Agency will continuously monitor air quality and burning will be halted if safety standards cannot be maintained.

The Minerals Management Service is in contact with the oil and gas operators in the sheen area to discuss any concerns with operations that may arise from their activities with the response efforts underway.
Currently, no production has been curtailed as a result of the response activities.

The vast majority of this slick will be addressed through natural means and through use of chemical dispersants. Today's burn will not affect other ongoing response activities, such as on-water skimming, dispersant application, and subsurface wellhead intervention operations.
Preparations are also underway in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama to set up a protective boom to minimize shoreline impact.

These efforts are happening concurrently with BP/Transocean's continued efforts to stop the crude that is still leaking from the well. BP is the responsible party due to the fact that they own the oil that was leaking from their well.

Emphasizing the importance of continued vigilance and interagency coordination in the response to BP/Transocean's Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar yesterday announced the next steps for the investigation that is underway to determine the causes of the explosion, which left 11 workers missing, three critically injured, and an ongoing oil spill that the responsible party and federal agencies are working to contain and clean up.

Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Secretary Napolitano, U.S.
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen, Secretary Salazar and DOI Deputy Secretary David Hayes also held meetings yesterday with BP, the responsible party in the oil spill, to discuss the response effort.

A coordinated response continues by federal, state and local partners while BP and other contractors work to stop the flow of oil and minimize its environmental impact. Approximately 1,100 total personnel are currently deployed and have used approximately 56,000 gallons of oil dispersant so far. Approximately 260,000 gallons of oily water have been collected. Nearly 50 vessels-including 16 skimming boats, four storage barges, 11 support vessels-and multiple aircraft are conducting containment and cleanup operations in the area.

A Web site has been established where photos, press releases and fact sheets are available at www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com <http>. A toll free number has been established to report oiled or injured wildlife. To report affected wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Individuals are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to the toll free number.

For more information regarding the Deepwater Horizon incident, contact the joint information center at (985) 902-5231/5240

--
John Ewald
Public Affairs Specialist
National Ocean Service
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1305 East-West Highway, Room 13238
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Office: (301) 713-3066 x191
Mobile: (240) 429-6127
Fax: (301) 713-9337
john.ewald@noaa.gov
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/

Thank you for your interest and concern. Again, updates will be sent when available.

Thanks,

Brooke

Brooke Saari
Marine Science Extension Agent
Florida Sea Grant
Okaloosa & Walton Counties
850-892-8172 (Walton)
850-689-5850 (Okaloosa)
850-892-8443 (Fax)
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Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:23 pm

Here is the latest positioning of the Oil Slick as of April 27th at 1040am. It is about 69 miles off the coast of Navarre Beach and measures 100 miles long by 45 miles wide and growing daily. It is estimated that over 6 million gallons of oil are now driftng in the gulf.

Image
No populated areas are expected to be affected by the controlled burn operations and there are no anticipated impacts to marine mammals and sea turtles.
...Pardon me but do they really expect us to believe this type of fluff? In 4 days this will exceed the Exxon Valdez disaster with no hope for capping the well for weeks. At this rate we won't have to worry about drilling anymore in the Gulf of Mexico for years to come. They will just be able to skim all they want off the surface :twisted:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Gulf Oil Spill - Bigger Than Exxon Valdez

Just five months ago, SkyTruth's President testified to Congress about the risks posed by offshore drilling. Now we're seeing a catastrophic spill in the Gulf that could soon surpass the sorry benchmark set 20 years ago by the 11-million-gallon Exxon Valdez spill.

SkyTruth is beginning to get radar satellite images showing the oil slick from the Deepwater horizon blowout and spill in the Gulf of Mexico. These images, from a variety of non-US satellites (don't get us started on that), cut right through clouds and haze to show the "texture" of the ocean surface. Oil flattens the ocean out (that's why they call it a "slick"); flat water looks black on radar images. This image, acquired by the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite, clearly shows the sprawling slick at about noon local time on April 26:


Satellite radar image taken April 26 clearly shows oil slick (lower right) from Deepwater Horizon spill. Source: European Space Agency.
Image


This, and other radar images that SkyTruth is getting, confirm what we've seen on the NASA/MODIS images so far, and support our conservative calculations showing that in the first week of this spill at least 6 million gallons have entered the Gulf. That's a spill rate of at least 850,000 gallons (20,000 barrels) per day, 20 times larger than the official Goast Guard estimate of 42,000 gallons per day.

Navarrian 8)
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Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:28 pm

That sure is a big difference in the estimates, 300,000 gallons vs. 6,000,000. I hope that Sky Truth's estimate from above is wrong.
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Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:21 pm

BREAKING NEWS JUST 5 MINUTES AGO

Massive oil slick in Gulf of Mexico is set on fire to stop its advance! Fox News is reporting that the burn may reduce the oil slick by 85% to 95%. I hope this announcement is correct.
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Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:05 pm

Crews to set fire to oil leaking in Gulf of Mexico

BRETT MARTEL AND CAIN BURDEAU, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITERS

APRIL 28, 2010

OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) — It's a hellish scene: Giant sheets of flame racing across the Gulf of Mexico as thick, black smoke billows high into sky.

This, though, is no Hollywood action movie. It's the real-life plan to be deployed just 20 miles from the Gulf Coast in a last-ditch effort to burn up an oil spill before it could wash ashore and wreak environmental havoc.

The Coast Guard planned to use hand-held flares to set fire to sections of the massive spill. Crews turned to the technique after failing to stop a 1,000-barrel-a-day leak at the spot where a deepwater oil platform exploded and sank.

A 500-foot boom was to be used to corral several thousand gallons of the thickest oil on the surface, which will then be towed to a more remote area, set on fire, and allowed to burn for about an hour.

The Coast Guard initially said the fires would be started by midday, but officials later postponed the operation until late afternoon or early evening.

About 42,000 gallons of oil a day are leaking into the Gulf from the blown-out well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead. The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

Greg Pollock, head of the oil spill division of the Texas General Land Office, which is providing equipment for crews in the Gulf, said he is not aware of a similar burn ever being done off the U.S. coast. The last time crews with his agency used fire booms to burn oil was a 1995 spill on the San Jacinto River.

"When you can get oil ignited, it is an absolutely effective way of getting rid of a huge percentage of the oil," he said. "I can't overstate how important it is to get the oil off the surface of the water."

The oil has the consistency of thick roofing tar.

When the flames goes out, Pollock said, the material that is left resembles a hardened ball of tar that can be removed from the water with nets or skimmers.

"I would say there is little threat to the environment because it won't coat an animal, and because all the volatiles have been consumed if it gets on a shore it can be simply picked up," he said.

Authorities also said they expect minimal impact on sea turtles and marine mammals in the burn area.

A graphic posted by the Coast Guard and the industry task force fighting the slick showed it covering an area about 100 miles long and 45 miles across at its widest point.

"It's premature to say this is catastrophic. I will say this is very serious," said Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry.

From the air, the thickest parts of the spill resembled rust-colored tentacles of various thickness. The air was thick with the acrid smell of petroleum.

Amid several of the thicker streaks, four gray whales could be seen swimming, and one of them appeared to be rolling and curling as if struggling or disoriented. It was not clear if the whale was in danger.
More than two dozen vessels moved about in the heart of the slick pulling oil-sopping booms.

Earlier Wednesday, Louisiana State Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham told lawmakers that federal government projections show a "high probability" oil could reach the Pass a Loutre wildlife area Friday night, Breton Sound on Saturday and the Chandeleur Islands on Sunday.

As the task force worked far offshore, local officials prepared for the worst in case the oil reaches land.

In Plaquemines Parish, a sliver of Louisiana that juts into the Gulf and is home to Pass a Loutre, officials hoped to deploy a fleet of volunteers in fishing boats to spread booms that could block oil from entering inlets.

"We've got oystermen and shrimpers who know this water better than anyone," said Plaquemines Paris President Billy Nungesser. "Hopefully the Coast Guard will embrace the idea."

But there was anxiety that the Gulf Coast was not prepared for the onslaught of oil.

"Our ability to deal with this would be like us having a foot of snow falling in Biloxi tomorrow," said Vincent Creel, a spokesman for the city government in Biloxi, Miss. "We don't have snow plows, and we're not equipped to deal with this."

The parish's emergency manager planned to meet in Houma on Thursday with a Coast Guard official to discuss whether volunteers can help, Nungesser said.

"We don't want to just sit by and hope this (oil) doesn't come ashore," Nungesser said.

The decision to burn some of the oil came after crews operating submersible robots failed to activate a shut-off device that would halt the flow of oil on the sea bottom 5,000 feet below.

Rig operator BP PLC says work will begin as early as Thursday to drill a relief well to relieve pressure at the blowout site, but that could take months.

Another option is a dome-like device to cover oil rising to the surface and pump it to container vessels, but that will take two weeks to put in place, BP said.

Winds and currents in the Gulf have helped crews in recent days as they try to contain the leak. The immediate threat to sandy beaches in coastal Alabama and Mississippi has eased. But the spill has moved steadily toward the mouth of the Mississippi River, home to hundreds of species of wildlife and near some rich oyster grounds.

The cost of the disaster continues to rise and could easily top $1 billion.

Industry officials say replacing the Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP, would cost up to $700 million. BP has said its costs for containing the spill are running at $6 million a day. The company said it will spend $100 million to drill the relief well. The Coast Guard has not yet reported its expenses.

Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans and Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge contributed to this report.

"We don't want to just sit by and hope this (oil) doesn't come ashore," Nungesser said.

The decision to burn some of the oil came after crews operating submersible robots failed to activate a shut-off device that would halt the flow of oil on the sea bottom 5,000 feet below.

Rig operator BP PLC says work will begin as early as Thursday to drill a relief well to relieve pressure at the blowout site, but that could take months.

Another option is a dome-like device to cover oil rising to the surface and pump it to container vessels, but that will take two weeks to put in place, BP said.

Winds and currents in the Gulf have helped crews in recent days as they try to contain the leak. The immediate threat to sandy beaches in coastal Alabama and Mississippi has eased. But the spill has moved steadily toward the mouth of the Mississippi River, home to hundreds of species of wildlife and near some rich oyster grounds.

The cost of the disaster continues to rise and could easily top $1 billion.
Industry officials say replacing the Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP, would cost up to $700 million. BP has said its costs for containing the spill are running at $6 million a day. The company said it will spend $100 million to drill the relief well. The Coast Guard has not yet reported its expenses.

Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans and Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge contributed to this report.
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Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:54 am

April 28, 2010
The New York Times


Oil Leak in Gulf of Mexico May Be 5 Times Initial Estimate

Image
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON and LESLIE KAUFMAN

NEW ORLEANS — Government officials said late Wednesday night that oil might be leaking from a well in the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times as large as initial estimates have suggested.

In a hastily called news conference, Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry of the Coast Guard said a scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had concluded that oil is leaking at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day, not 1,000 as had been estimated. While emphasizing that the estimates are rough given that the leak is at 5,000 feet below the surface, Admiral Landry said the new estimate came from observations made in flights over the slick, studying the trajectory of the spill and other variables.

An explosion and fire on a drilling rig on April 20 left 11 workers missing and presumed dead. The rig sank two days later about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.

Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for exploration and production for BP, said a new leak had been discovered as well. Officials had previously found two leaks in the riser, the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connected the rig to the wellhead and is now detached and snaking along the sea floor. One leak was at the end of the riser and the other at a kink closer to its source, the wellhead.

But Mr. Suttles said a third leak had been discovered Wednesday afternoon even closer to the source. “I’m very, very confident this leak is new,” he said. He also said the discovery of the new leak had not led them to believe that the total flow from the well was different than it was before the leak was found.

The new, far larger estimate of the leakage rate, he said, was within a range of estimates given the inexact science of determining the rate of a leak so far below the ocean’s surface.

“The leaks on the sea floor are being visually gauged from the video feed” from the remote vehicles that have been surveying the riser, said Doug Helton, a fisheries biologist who coordinates oil spill responses for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in an e-mail message Wednesday night. “That takes a practiced eye. Like being able to look at a garden hose and judge how many gallons a minute are being discharged. The surface approach is to measure the area of the slick, the percent cover, and then estimate the thickness based on some rough color codes.”

Admiral Landry said President Obama had been notified. She also opened up the possibility that if the government determines that BP, which is responsible for the cleanup, cannot handle the spill with the resources available in the private sector, that Defense Department could become involved to contribute technology.

Wind patterns may push the spill into the coast of Louisiana as soon as Friday night, officials said, prompting consideration of more urgent measures to protect coastal wildlife. Among them were using cannons to scare off birds and employing local shrimpers’ boats as makeshift oil skimmers in the shallows.

Part of the oil slick was only 16 miles offshore and closing in on the Mississippi River Delta, the marshlands at the southeastern tip of Louisiana where the river empties into the ocean. Already 100,000 feet of protective booms have been laid down to protect the shoreline, with 500,000 feet more standing by, said Charlie Henry, an oil spill expert for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, at an earlier news conference on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, cleanup crews began conducting what is called an in-situ burn, a process that consists of corralling concentrated parts of the spill in a 500-foot-long fireproof boom, moving it to another location and burning it. It has been tested effectively on other spills, but weather and ecological concerns can complicate the procedure.

Such burning also works only when oil is corralled to a certain thickness. Burns may not be effective for most of this spill, of which 97 percent is estimated to be an oil-water mixture.

A burn scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday was delayed. At 4:45 p.m., the first small portion of the spill was ignited. Officials determined it to be successful.

Walter Chapman, director of the Energy and Environmental Systems Institute at Rice University, said a 50 percent burn-off for oil within the booms would be considered a success. Admiral Landry called the burn “one tool in a tool kit” to tackle the spill. Other tactics include: using remote-controlled vehicles to shut off the well at its source on the sea floor, an operation that has so far been unsuccessful; dropping domes over the leaks at the sea floor and routing the oil to the surface to be collected, an operation untested at such depths that would take at least two to four more weeks; and drilling relief wells to stop up the gushing cavity with concrete, mud or other heavy liquid, a solution that is months away.

The array of strategies underscores the unusual nature of the leak. Pipelines have ruptured and tankers have leaked, but a well 5,000 feet below the water’s surface poses new challenges, officials said.

Reached in southern Louisiana on Wednesday, where he was visiting the response team’s command center, Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, said he did not yet know what went wrong with the oil rig. BP, which was leasing the rig from Transocean, is responsible for the cleanup under federal law.

Until Wednesday night, the well had been estimated to be leaking 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, each day.

The response team has tried in vain to engage a device called a blowout preventer, a stack of hydraulically activated valves at the top of the well that is designed to seal off the well in the event of a sudden pressure release — a possible cause for the explosion on the rig.

Mr. Hayward said the blowout preventer was tested 10 days ago and worked. He said a valve must be partly closed, otherwise the spillage would be worse.

There are a number of things that can go wrong with a blowout preventer, said Greg McCormack, director of the Petroleum Extension Service at the University of Texas, which provides training for the industry.

The pressure of the oil coming from below might be so great that the valves cannot make an adequate seal. Or in the case of a shear ram, which is designed to cut through the drill pipe itself and seal it off, it might have encountered a tool joint, the thicker, threaded area where two lengths of drilling pipe are joined.

Still, Mr. McCormack said, “something is working there because you wouldn’t have such a relatively small flow of oil.” If the blowout preventer were completely inoperable, he said, the flow would be “orders of magnitude” greater.

Mr. Hayward, of BP, said the crude spilling from the well was very light, the color and texture of “iced tea” and implied that it would cause less environmental damage than heavier crude, like the type that spilled from the Exxon Valdez into Prince William Sound in 1989. He said in most places it was no more than a micron thick and in the thickest areas was one-tenth of a millimeter, or the width of a hair.

Mr. Hayward declined to answer questions about any potential political fallout and said BP “will be judged primarily on the response.”

As the investigation into the cause continued, officials, scientists and those who make their living on the Gulf Coast were focused on the impending prospect of the oil’s landfall.

Campbell Robertson reported from New Orleans, and Leslie Kaufman from New York. Henry Fountain and Liz Robbins contributed reporting from New York.
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Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:19 am

My heart is breaking for all of you in Navarre. I really hope they can contain the spill and keep it from hitting landfall. Part of it is selfish due to my family visiting there on June 19th. We may have to change our plans. It only affects me for one week of my life but those of you that live in such a beautiful place could have to deal with it much, much longer. Praying for you and the all of the others it could affect.
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Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:16 pm

Navarre Beach (Santa Rosa County) ready to respond

Pensacola News Journal
Louis Cooper • lcooper@pnj.com • April 29, 2010


Santa Rosa County is preparing to respond to the possibility that oil from the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster may come ashore on Navarre Beach and surrounding areas, according to county Public Information Officer Joy Tsubooka.

“At the moment, we’re researching the effects it may have on us, and we’re preparing the actions that we may need to take,” Tsubooka said today. “We’re looking at what the effect could be environmentally, what is going to be the health risks, what are the precautions we’re going to have to take to make sure that the residents of our county are going to be safe. ... We’ve got people doing that right now.”

Santa Rosa is cooperating with the a multiagency response effort headed by the U.S. Coast Guard, she said.

“We are also reviewing the Coast Guard’s action plan so we know what to expect in a potential response and are ready to act,” she said. “We are have reached out to and are staying in contact with the state/ other county/local agencies who also may play a part.”

Escambia County commissioners met Wednesday and decided to pass a resolution reminding federal authorities of local concerns.

If called upon, the Santa Rosa could offer emergency management staff, public works employees, beach personnel and even volunteers to respond to the situation, Tsubooka said.

“We’re ready to respond now, but we need to follow the directions of the unified command,” she said. “What’s the trigger point going to be? Those questions have been asked, and we’re waiting on an answer.”
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Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:50 am

So all we can do is hurry up and wait :x ...I'm going fishing - again!
Will someone open the pier so we can enjoy it before hurricane season!
Navarrian 8)
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Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:26 am

I love your attitude Navarrian! We're not sure what to do. We're scheduled to fly in next Staurday for a two week stay. I don't think we'd mind not being able to get in the water because of the oil as long as we can sit on the beach. But will it stink? Will we be coming into a chaotic clean up scene?

I'm not asking for answers from anyone, just thinking(and fretting) out loud. : ) Since there is not a common occurence, it's hard to know what to expect.

I feel really bad for those that live in the area and will have to deal with this for a very long time You guys are in my prayers.
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Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:46 am

As far as the "stink" factor, all I can say is that people in New Orleans began smelling a strong oil odor on Thursday, and they are still dozens of miles from the slick.
Sleep late, drive fast and don't take anything seriously...
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Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:55 am

I am feeling sick for what is happening. Praying and hoping the news reports are wrong.
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Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:50 am

We are all sad and concerned on this tragedy in the Gulf. Now is the time to possibly vent our frustrations and do something positive on this issue for the future. IMHO www.pickensplan.com has a long range plan to do something for the economic stability, defense and a cleaner environment for our country. Joining Boons Army. It costs nothing and it may make a difference for our children and grandkids. 8)
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Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:38 am

Us closeted beach lovers are all out here watching and praying. I get to visit once in a while, while you all are worring about your back yard. Hopefully, the cure will come . I have confidence in Americas ingenuity. Maybe it will force some new ideas and methods for the containment.
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