Following pressurized tests on August 5th that have confirmed the Macondo Well is effectively cemented from the top, the blowout preventer was successfully removed and arrived in New Orleans on Friday for a forensic investigation. Additionally, a new blowout preventer has been installed that will facilitate the relief well operations, according to the Gulf Incident Commander Thad Allen.
- The relief wells that would plug the well from the bottom remain as the permanent solution, but weather conditions have not allowed either of the two relief wells to be completed.
- Over 4,500 vessels and 28,000 people remain a part of the response effort.
- Also, even though BP reported in its 2nd Quarter statement [.pdf] released on July 27th that “approximately 827,000” barrels of oil have been contained either through collection or a burning process known as flaring, over a month later on Sept. 3rd BP slightly reduced this estimate to 826,000 barrels. As a result, the original estimate was either inaccurate or an overestimate, especially when you consider the progress over the past month, but this is not the first time BP estimated a statistic slanted in its own favor.
- Lastly, the graph below shows the 17% of the Gulf of Mexico that remains closed from fishing – down from 35% in late July. 17% of the Gulf is equal to almost 20,000,000 football fields.