Gulf oil spill update

The State of Louisiana has a plan and the means to build temporary sand barriers to shelter its coastal islands from the drifting oil slick.  However, the Obama Administration has not responded to requests that Louisiana submitted to the Corps of Engineers as far back as May 11. Federal inaction is stymieing the protection of the wetlands., the site of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, has the story.

BP continues to work toward stopping the spill, using a technique that has worked in other situations. The "top kill" technique to stem the oil flow has a 60% to 70% chance of success. Here the story from NOAL and a graphic of how the machinery works.

Turning from the newspaper to my own oil industry acquaintances, I hear through the proverbial grapevine that BP has up to 13,000 people working on this problem, although I cannot verify this number. The biggest numbers are clean up personnel positioning barrier booms and so on. Many engineers and technicians have been yanked from other projects to focus on finding solutions to this problem. Quite a few of those engineers have been contributed from other companies.

My personal view is that one might say this is the Apollo 13 of ocean exploration. Many precautions were taken, but the distant frontier and its unknowns got the upper hand. Exploration has risks, whether outer space or the ocean depths.