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Lubchenco: Sound science played role in gulf oil-spill response – Oil & Gas Journal 0

Posted on October 12, 2010 by bp complaints

Lubchenco: Sound science played role in gulf oilspill response
Oil & Gas Journal
Within the first week after the spill began, NOAA convened cotrustees to organize collaborative teams to coordinate data collection in the gulf and across
Rick Horowitz: Gulf spill numbers don't add upGoErie.com

all 2 news articles »

gulf oil spill updates – Google News

Transcript – Press Briefing and Teleconference by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco 0

Posted on September 15, 2010 by bp complaints

Key contact numbers

  • Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866) 448-5816
  • Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511 
  • Submit a claim for damages: (800) 916-4893
  • Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401

Deepwater Horizon Incident
Joint Information Center

Phone: (713) 323-1670
(713) 323-1671

Below is a transcript from Wednesday’s press briefing and teleconference by Admiral Thad Allen, National Incident Commander for the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator

A downloadable audio file of the conference is available here.

Graphics used during the press briefing are available here and here.

Photos of subsurface equipment are available here, here, and here.

September 15, 2010

Admiral Allen:      Thank you.  Good morning from Kenner, Louisiana.  I’m delighted to be here today with representatives of the seafood industry and the restaurant industry together with the (inaudible) representative of academia and Dr. Jane Lubchenco the NOAA administrator.

I want to hit a couple of things this morning, give you an update and then Dr. Lubchenco is going to come up and we’re going to talk about subsea oil monitoring and our intentions and (inaudible) on that.

But first of all I’d like to point out a few folks that are here with me behind me today that are joining us here at Kenner.  First one is Harlon Pearce
who is chair of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board.  We also have the executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board, Ewell Smith.  Ewell, thank you for being here and Jim Funk the executive director of the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

As you know the issue of seafood safety has loomed large in the media and elsewhere.  I’m here to tell you this is my third day in the Gulf and I’ve had seafood every day I’ve been here.  This is the most tested and safest seafood in the world right now.  This seafood is ready for the rest of the world and the world needs to know that.  And I’m here with the members of the community involved with preparing that seafood to get it out to you to let you know that the Gulf is ready and you should have no qualms about getting seafood that has been tested from the Gulf.

If I could real quick we started this morning the final drilling process to close in on the bottom of the Macondo Well.  As you know we’ve had several segments of activity that have taken place.  It started with the static kill to fill the well with cement.  We’ve ended a number of tests.  We concluded (inaudible) to remove the blowout preventer.

That has been done.  As you know that equipment has all been shipped to the Coast Guard base at the NASA (inaudible) in New Orleans where it remains under supervision of the joint investigation team and the Department of Justice.

We are demobilizing what’s not needed at the well site right now.  And as we speak, earlier this morning, Development Driller III began the last drilling (inaudible) into the annulus of the drill pipe and we would expect some time in the next 24 hours to actually intercept the well.

The steps after the well intercept will be to ascertain the condition of the annulus.  As you know we do not know what the condition of the annulus is whether or not there are hydrocarbons in it, communication with the reservoir and so forth.  Today will give us a lot of information especially when we get close and finally conduct the intercept looking at the changes in pressure of the drilling mud that’s going in and out.

That will be something that we’re monitoring very closely.  And we will give you update throughout the day.  I have been notifying and updating the senior leadership in Washington as we move forward.

What I would like to do now is just shift to the next part of the opening statements and then we’ll be glad to take some questions from you.  From the start we have known that this has been the largest oil spill in U.S. history.  We know that the impacts of this spill have been far reaching.

We have been defending the coastline from Port St. Joe, Florida over to tar balls that have come to shore in Texas.  And there are concerns about how much oil is in the water and the amount of hydrocarbons, how that’s affecting the Gulf.  We work very close with the Unified Area Command here in New Orleans under the leadership of Admiral Zukunft who will continue to direct our operations when the National Incident Command is redeployed here shortly.

And we have worked with NOAA, our federal counterparts and academia to take a look at the (inaudible) possible for subsea monitoring for hydrocarbons.  A lot of unanswered questions, we’ve never had a spill of this magnitude.  The public wants to know what’s going on and quite frankly we all do too.

There has been a massive effort to conduct sampling from the start of this event.  We’re going to give you a little bit more detail this morning about how we’ve been moving forward and how we intend to move forward in the future to try and get as much information as we can, to make that information transparent and talk about the implications of the data that’s in relation to the future of the Gulf.

So with that I’d like to now introduce Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of NOAA who is going to make some opening remarks about a subsea oil sampling.  And she has some distinguished members of the federal government and academia with her.  Jane?

Jane Lubchenco:   Thanks, Admiral Allen.  Hello everyone thank you for joining us.  I echo Admiral Allen’s thanks for Harlan Pearce and his colleagues for hosting us here today.  When NOAA first became involved at the very earliest hours in responding to the deep water horizon spill we pledged to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fishermen of the region.

And our continued interactions and partnership with them are a signal of how committed we are jointly to restoring the health of the Gulf and bringing us back to a very healthy state so that everyone cal feel completely comfortable with the quality of the seafood and the safety of the seafood from this region.

I’d like to introduce a few folks to you today.  Some of the senior scientists at NOAA who are working on monitoring efforts that we’re going to b talking about today and some individuals from the academic communities and independent research institutions that we’ve been partnering closely with.

As I introduce each of you guys if you’ll just raise your hands so folks will know who you are.  Okay, Sam Walker, Steve Layman and Steve Murawski, all NOAA senior scientists who are individuals that bring deep knowledge about oil, oil response and the science in the Gulf to this task.

A number of individuals from our academic and private research institution partners, Dr. Michael Carron of the Northern Gulf Institute, Dr. V.J. John and Dr. Gary McPherson of Tulane University, Dr. Richard Shaw from Louisiana State University, Dr. William Hogarth and Dr. Ernst Peebles from the University of South Florida, Dr. Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Dr. Richard Gregg of Florida A&M, and we’re also joined by Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP.

I welcome all of them and thank them for their efforts.  They have been involved in the number of research missions out on the water to try to understand this event.  And they have been very helpful in organizing meetings with academic and independent research institutions, folks from the Gulf and elsewhere to help us understand what’s actually playing out, what’s happening on the water, beneath the water, at the edges of the shore and to help us craft the kind of quality research studies that will enable us to better understand what’s happening and what we might see in the future.

As an academic more than 35 years I can attest to the importance of what academic institutions and independent research institutions bring to an effort like this.  We really do need the best scientists in the country focusing on understanding that has already happened, what the impact is and how to guide our actions bring the Gulf back to health.

Although I’m the administrator of NOAA here today I can also say that the entire federal family is deeply committed to understanding the impact of this spill on the health of the Gulf and the millions of people who depend on it for their lives and livelihood.

It’s been 62 days now since oil has stopped flowing into the Gulf but our federal response remains vigilant in its effort to recover oil, to clean up beaches and marshes and to rehabilitate wildlife.

We continue to monitor the movements and the (inaudible) of oil especially beneath the surface.  And we are doing so in collaboration with our academic and research institution partners.  We are indeed seeing a number of encouraging signs, a reflection of this is that we have re-opened almost 40,000 square miles of the Gulf to fishing.

As you will recall at the heights about 37 percent of the Gulf was closed to fishing in federal waters.  We have been nibbling around the edges opening up more and more area.  The area that remains closed today is at 16.5 percent.

So we’re making good progress and sampling very, very carefully making sure that areas that we are opening is, in fact, safe to reopen and that the seafood is free of contaminants.  We’re also releasing rehabilitated sea turtles back into the Gulf, individuals that were recovered some of which have been rehabilitated in the lab and are now able to released into a Gulf.

To date we have released 284 turtles back into the Gulf and that is, in fact, good news indeed.  And yet we are mindful of the need to understand how much oil remains, where it is and in what concentrations and how rapidly it’s being naturally degraded.  Today we are gathered together with the folks behind me to take stock of what we have learned to date, tell you what yet needs to be done.

We are in the midst of a comprehensive collaborative effort to monitor the fate of the oil and the disbursement sub surface.

And it’s in the subsurface that our efforts are focused squarely.  Its subsea monitoring program conducted under the direction of the federal on scene coordinator includes extensive monitoring and sampling done to date, more than 30,000 samples so far.

And we’ll continue where needed to allow us to answer the question what is the fate of the oil and the disbursements in the subsurface?  So this monitoring effort is an aggressive one to be conducted as an integrated strategic plan working closely with states, academic, and private research institution partners.

We have and will continue to monitor, sample and study the oil and disbursements from the near shore to the open ocean, from the surface to the seafloor.  This ongoing monitoring effort has three primary goals.

One is to monitor and assess the distribution, concentration, and degradation of any oils that remain in the water or on the seafloor.  Two, to look for disbursements or break down products of disbursements remaining in the water, and three, to identify any additional response actions needed to address any recoverable oil.

We have already tested extensively.  In the near shore and the offshore and will continue to do so.  Near shore data continues to be generated on a daily basis building upon the approximately 5,000 near shore water and sediment samples that were collected as of September 11.

These samples are in addition to a number of observational techniques employed in the near shore to help responders find oil.  Turning to the offshore the water column has been extensively sampled within 75 kilometers of the well head using fluorometry, particle analyzers, oxygen probes, and hydrocarbon analysis as well as standard connectivity, temperature, and depth for CTG sensor cap.

The federal government working with our academic partners is committed to doing everything it takes for as long as it takes to respond to this oil, to assess the damage, and to restore the habitat and sustain the quality of life in the Gulf.

What has all of this sampling revealed?  We have a fair amount of information about what’s happening along the coast.  Much of that oil, some of which still remains, continues to be cleaned up.  There continues to be a very small amount of residual oil in the near shore.

And that is both being degraded naturally as well as being recovered.  In the water column there continues to be some amount of oil in the subsurface especially in this layer that is between about 3,000 and 4,300 feet, very, very (inaudible), very microscopic droplets of oil and the parts from millions to parts per billion, (inaudible) and disbursed does not necessarily mean benign.

We continue to actively sample and characterize where that is and the rate at which it is being degraded.  The indications are that that degradation is proceeding and we intend to get more definitive information upon that in the not too distant future.

There is oil that is being observed on the sediment, in the sediments on the seafloor surface.  Much of the ongoing monitoring is designed to understand better where that is, what impact it may be having and we look forward to reporting on that also in due time.

So ultimately people in the region and across the country really want to do is Gulf seafood safe to eat?  Are the waters safe to swim in?  Where can we fish with our families and friends?  In short, folks want to know if it’s OK to eat, swim and fish and that kind of information that we committed to identifying those questions, answers to those questions when we can reassure folks that in fact, when and if it is OK to eat, swim and fish.

This monitoring lays the foundation for additional research into the long-term impact of the spill on the health of the Gulf and it will go a long way toward restoring the Gulf and restoring public confidence in this unique and very valuable ecosystem.  So with that we’re happy to take questions and I’ll invite Admiral Allen to join me in that.

Admiral Allen:      Let me – let me make one quick statement.  I’m not sure I’ll have an opportunity to do a public press event with Jane Lubchenco before we transition this organization.  Jane and I met over a year ago we made a trip to the Arctic together.

This has been a professional and a personal collaboration that’s been wonderful for me and I just want to thank her as a friend and colleague for the help she’s given me, first as a (inaudible) on the Coast Guard and National Incident Commander, so thank you Jane.

Jane Lubchenco:   Thanks Admiral, I appreciate that.

Admiral Allen:      Okay.  Identify yourself and your affiliation please.

Harry Weber:       (Inaudible).

Admiral Allen:      Harry we’ve always said it would be about 96 hours total until the (inaudible)  is done, cured and we do pressure testing.  So four days from now to be all done.

Male:                   (Inaudible).

Admiral Allen:      Yes.  It could be sooner depending on when they intercept the (inaudible), the condition of the annulus, how much (inaudible) is required and the carrying time and the pressure test, but that is the sequence.

Male:                   Ninety-six hours.  (Inaudible).

Admiral Allen:      Four days from now, that’s what we’re looking at right now, yes.

Female:               (Inaudible).

Jane Lubchenco:   So let me be clear, there have been a lot of mischaracterizations of the oil budget report that we released.  But that oil budget report says very simply that a quarter of the oil has been burned, skimmed or recovered from the well.  A quarter of the oil has been evaporated, so that half of nearly 5 million barrels of which released, is – has gone from the system.

Another quarter (inaudible) was at some point in the subsurface.  That’s not an insignificant amount, one quarter sounds like a small amount, but that’s the equivalent to four Exxon-Valdez oil spills, so that’s actually a fair amount of oil.  That’s not what’s out there now because it is being degraded as we speak.  And one of the purposes of the ongoing monitoring is to understand better how much of that subsurface oil is still out there and how fast it is disappearing.

The remaining quarter was – what is left over from what you can measure directly or estimate with some degree of confidence, that quarter which is what we call residual is in fact – was at some point light sheen or tar balls or oil that has been washed upon beaches, much of which has now been recovered.  So the budget was intended to give us a sense of where did that nearly 5 million barrels of oil go.

It is not a characterization of what’s out there now because it is being – continuing to be recovered, continuing to be naturally biodegraded.  And that’s why this monitoring effort that is underway is critically important to give us a sense of what remains out there, how fast it’s disappearing.

 Male:                 (Inaudible)

Jane Lubchenco:   When we released the report at that time, a quarter of the 5 million barrels could not be either measured directly or estimated with some degree of confidence.  It’s what was left over, that was residual at that time.  It is not a reflection of what’s happening now because much of that has continued to biodegrade, much of that has now been removed from the beaches.

Male:                     The numbers have gone down?

Jane Lubchenco:    All of those numbers are going down.  The numbers – the residual is probably going down, what’s in the subsurface is probably going down.  We don’t yet know at what rate which is why this monitoring is so important.

Female:                 (Inaudible).

Jane Lubchenco:    One of the most important things that we are doing now is getting as much information as possible from research expeditions, from our academic partners and from the unified command monitoring, overseeing monitoring that is underway to really understand better what’s happening in the sediment, what’s happening on the sea floor.

And we are getting reports that there is oil that’s there, that’s very valuable information and that has been folded into the monitoring that we have underway.  There will be active sampling of sediments in the deep sea and in the near shore to better understand exactly how much is out there.  At some point we will really be interested in what impact that’s having as well because that’s critically important.

But right now our focus is understanding what is left both in the water column and on the sediment on the sea floor.  And we’re doing that in partnership with many of our academic colleagues and that effort is intended to give us a better sense of what’s out there.

Female:               (Inaudible) put that down.  How much money is there (inaudible).

Jane Lubchenco:   The sampling efforts that is underway and will be continuing is an effort to really characterize what’s on the sea floor, that is indeed – it requires specialized equipment, it requires people who know how to use that equipment and it requires good orchestration so that we’re sampling where we need to sample and in a strategic fashion informed by what we know about what’s happening elsewhere.

I can’t give you a figure for how expensive it is, but it does require ships and equipment and if monitoring efforts is part of the response to the spill.

Admiral Allen:      Let me just add on to it.  One of the reasons that we’re both standing here today is the responsibility I have as a National Incident Commander for the response and recovery of oil, is to deal with it until it’s not there anymore, how clean is clean along with shoreline and the marshes.  We’re dealing with an area where we’ve never dealt with this much oil in the subsea area before, so I’m actually utilizing the authority that I have under my response authorities to direct this action to begin so we know it is part of the response, fate of the oil.

We also are going to need to know the fate of the oil for long-term damage assessment and the actions that will follow.  So there’s a – there’s a certainly amount of urgency to know right away what’s happening, (inaudible) about it, but in the long-term, the long-term recovery in the Gulf is (inaudible) dependent on as much data as we can get.

And the best way to do that is through a unified effort.  And if you’ve got a certain amount of resources to deploy and you know you want to check for sediment, that’s (done) if you can organize it together and create the synergies between the public and private sector academia and so forth.  One more question we’ll go to the phones here.

Male:                   Admiral would you step down (inaudible).

Admiral Allen:      I don’t think anything could be farther from the truth.  You know one of my jobs as a National Incident Commander was interfaced with the administration of Congress and other folks in Washington about what was going on down here.  There will be a (inaudible) handoff between myself and Admiral Paul Zukunft who is already running the Unified Area Command.

Who actually is a junior officer and he was stationed in the Coast Guard with a commercial fisherman.  You’re not losing any area of expertise by the leader that’s going to be continuing after I’m gone, you need somebody that’s been working in this area for several months now that knows it from prior assignments and knows the lifestyle, the culture and the way of life of the Gulf.  So I think everybody’s going to be fine.

Jane Lubchenco:   Admiral Z will have not only a great, talented team of folks down here in the region with him, but he will be backed up by a team of very committed folks in Washington, D.C.  the President has made it clear that we are not going any place, that we are seeing this through and that the efforts is not winding down, the effort is transiting, we are pivoting from mostly response efforts to a recovery and restoration effort.

Underpinning all of that will be good scientific information, which is why this monitoring effort and the resource damage assessment effort and the recovery effort will all be underpinned by good science.

Female:              (Inaudible).

Admiral Allen:      Frankly since you asked, I’m about ready to transition.  This is a shared responsibility between the folks that are standing by this microphone and you all out there.  That’s how we talk about this, how we explain it, how we answer questions, it’s not just the questions we answer, it’s how you report it.  And everybody in the country, in the world sees what’s reported out of the Gulf.

We’ve stood here and told you and I have told you I don’t know how many times, that the seafood coming out of the Gulf is the most tested seafood anywhere in the United States and probably the world.  If it comes out of the Gulf and it is then tested it’s safe.

I think we have a joint responsibility not only to our professions but to the Gulf to speak clearly, frankly, and honestly about that.  And create proper perceptions in the mind of the American public about what the conditions are down here.

Jane Lubchenco:   NOAA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the States have been working very closely together to protect the integrity of seafood.  In addition to what Admiral Allen said about getting the word out, our focus has been squarely making sure that that seafood is safe.

And our first line of defense was to close areas to fishing if there was oil present, as we – as oil is receding as it is being degraded we’ve been very actively sampling throughout the Gulf in areas that were oiled.

And then reopening areas where in fact the sampling shows that the oil is gone number one, and number two that the seafood is not contaminated.  The seafood has been very rigorously tested, we feel confident that it is safe, it’s free of contaminants, and we want very much indeed to get the word out.

Admiral Allen:      Thanks we’re going to go to questions on the phone now Operator.

Operator:            Yes sir your first question comes from the line of Kristen Hayes with Reuters.

Kristen Hays:      Hello, Admiral I hope you’re not going to miss us when you make the hand over.

Admiral Allen:     I’ll miss you terribly.

Kristen Hays:      I’m sure you will, just a quick question, first with drilling resuming and you know zeroing in on the intercept.  Do you expect anymore ranging runs between now and then and when do you think BP is going to start doing those surveys you mentioned before on the Deepwater Horizon Rig preparing to actually pull it up from the ocean floor?

Admiral Allen:      The questions for those in the audience here was we’re expecting more ranging runs before intercept and what about a survey of the Deepwater Horizon Rig?  Actually they’re using a novel technology that allows the ability to do some ranging with the actual drill string that’s down there.

They’re going to try and use that and if they’re successful in using this new technology, it would not require them to pull the drill string out and do another ranging run with the wire they have to send out.

If that’s the case, that would (inaudible) some time out of the intercept that they expect to happen in the next 24 hours.  Regarding the survey of the people on Horizon themselves, I would defer that and we’ll put some information out to the joint information center of the Unified Area Command.

There is an intent to do an extensive survey of the people at Horizon Rig with (inaudible) that will probably be on the (inaudible).  That is something they are looking for in the future but it is not being scheduled yet due to the media concerns with moving the blowout preventer and (inaudible) package as part of the joint investigation.

But we’ll post more information on that.

Kristen Hays:      Okay. Thank you.

Operator:            Your next question comes from the line of Brett Clanton with Houston Chronicle.

Brett Clanton:      Admiral hi, thanks for taking my question.  Is there a chance when you do intercept the annulus that you’ll determine that’s it’s not necessary to inject mud and cement that it’s – you’ll discover that maybe it has been sealed with the static kill.

And then also just some I’m – just to make sure I’m completely sure, there is no plan to also enter the casing with a relief well, correct?

Admiral Allen:      The question is; is there any chance we would intercept the annulus and not pump cement and do we plan to intercept the casing?  Had we done it a traditional bottom kill we would have done both, intercepted the casing and the annulus.

Basically as I said before to fill in the tree rings till the tree was filled, the inner core of the tree was filled, because of a static kill right now.

So we’re sort of concerned with the annulus and the actual actions taken will be depending on the condition of the annulus when the intercepts made.  The first indication we will get with that will be any change of pressure in the drilling fluids or the strum in that drill bit when the interception is made.  At that point, I think there will be a characterization made of the annulus itself and a decision made on how to proceed at that point.

I can’t predict what will happen because as we said the final question in this whole killing of the well has been the condition f the annulus.  I don’t think we think there will be any blockage here I think we think we’re going to need to pump cement but that will not be verified until we actually do the intercept.  Next question.

Operator:        Your next question comes from the line of Jim Polson with Bloomberg News.

Jim Polson:      Thank you Admiral. This question is for Doctor Lubchenco.  Can you quantify for us the amount of effort that’s going into delineating and assessing the subsea oil sediment?

Jane Lubchenco:   I can’t quantify it right on the spot but I’m happy to provide that information once we have clarity on exactly how many ships, what the effort is, how many institutions are working on that.  If there is a very considerable effort and it has been gaining a lot of momentum as additional resources are brought to bear in terms of equipment and ships and other things.  I can’t give you a summary of those now but I’m happy to as soon as we have that synthesized.

Jim Polson:           Thank you.

Admiral Allen:      Let me – only intents of this effort is not unlike the air surveillance we had in trying to figure out what we were seeing out there.  And if you remember, we took control of the air space.  We integrated all of the air sorties via air coordination center in (inaudible) Air Force Base under the first Air Force.

And what we’ve got is a similar situation where we have a large number of federal vessels, a large number of academic institutions, private contractors, and vessels that are capable of doing work out there.  Part of this planning process that we’re working through is to unify that entire effort, coordinate it, and basically put what I would call a multi agency or governmental public private sector task force on the task.  Next question.

Operator:               Your next question comes from the line of Dorothy Kendrick with Louisiana Public.

Dorothy Kendrick: Louisiana Public Broadcasting I guess this is for Doctor Lubchenco.  When you talk about this oil that’s about 3,000 feet beneath the ocean surface I’m wondering with the way the ocean churns is there possibility that some of that oil will be churning up to the surface or how does that work?

Jane Lubchenco:   The question is will the oil that is subsurface now at this layer between about 3,000 and 4,300 feet eventually make its way to the surface.  We believe that’s probably unlikely.  The oil that is in this subsurface very defused cloud of hyperscopic droplets got there because as the oil was being released from the riser pipe or the well head it was shot out under great pressure, it was hot hitting cold water, and it was broken up into very, very small microscopic droplets of oil.

In that particular layer those droplets appear to be neutrally buoyant and are simply moving outward from the well in this very defused cloud and earlier on, on Measurement syndicated it was in parts per million that these microscopic droplets are.  And they are very, very tiny they’re about the size of the thickness of a human hair.

It’s about one micron thick so about the thickness of a human hair to give you a sense of the size.  And those microscopic droplets are in the process many of them of being biodegraded naturally by the bacteria by the microbes that are in the water.  In very, very small droplets the microbes can attack them from all sides and essentially those microbes eat oil.

And that is the process of natural biodegradation that we know is under way and that we are getting a better handle on exactly how fast it’s happening and at what rate the oil in that subsurface cloud is disappearing.

Admiral Allen:      This is a footnote you heard me say many times how unique this response has been because we’re dealing with a source that is 5,000 feet below the surface with no human access.  Well beyond that to just underscore what Doctor Lubchenco said the hydrocarbons in that reservoir are over 200 degrees it’s around boiling on the surface.

And when they come out of that well, they’re encountering water that’s 39 degrees.  When you hear about hydrates and everything else, the chemistry and the organic things that happen under those pressures at those temperature differentials are things we have not encountered before in a spill response.  We’ll take two more questions operator.

Operator:              Your next question comes from the line of Anne Thompson with NBC News.  Anne your line is open.  Your next question comes from the line Richard Fossa with Los Angeles Times.

Richard Fossa:      I was wondering – is it going to be difficult to hear you from a long distance telephone.  Could you go over again when the drilling process began, when you expect to intercept the well, when you’ll begin finish pumping mud and cement if you need to have mud and cement, and what time you’ll declare the well killed if that can be what you declare?

Admiral Allen:      Just to summarize again, in the last 24-hour period we proceeded to go ahead and drill to the intercept.  At the time we started drilling we estimated that we were 3.5 horizontal feet away and 50 feet away from the intercept.  We drilled down (inaudible), we went through the drill string, we put in a ranging tool just to make sure that we wanted to calibrate what the ranging tool told us versus the equipment that now allows us to do some ranging measurements from inside the drill bit.

The drill string is now packed and it’s commenced drilling so the air at this moment as we’re speaking drilling that last 20/25 feet and they are almost touching the well at this time.  That’s the report I got just before I came out here.  When we do the intercept, which will be imminently I will say in the next 24 hours because they may elect to pull that drill bit back do another ranging run, which would add time.  That’s the reason I’m not going to say it’s going to happen in the next hour.

Sometime in the next 24-hour period, we should do the well intercept.  Once the well is intercepted, we’ll have to understand from the pressure differentials and the drilling fluids the nature of the annulus.  Once that’s been determined decision, will be made on cement and then once it’s cemented the cement will have to adhere and be pressure tested.

That entire element from this morning I would estimate to be about 96 hours.  That could actually move to the left depending on whether or not they have to do that last ranging run.  But for the purpose of creating expectations well within a 96 hour window of killing the well.

Richard Fossa:      That was all.

Operator:             Your next …

Admiral Allen:      Thanks very much.

Jane Lubchenco:   Thanks everyone.

Admiral Allen:      That ends our call ladies and gentlemen.

Operator:            This concludes today’s conference call you may now disconnect.


Recent Updates for Unified Command for the Deepwater BP Oil Spill | Deepwater Horizon Response

MEDIA ADVISORY: Admiral Allen and Administrator Lubchenco Press Briefing and Teleconference to Provide Operational Update on Ongoing Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill Response Efforts 0

Posted on September 15, 2010 by bp complaints

Key contact numbers

  • Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866) 448-5816
  • Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511 
  • Submit a claim for damages: (800) 916-4893
  • Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401

Deepwater Horizon Incident
Joint Information Center

Phone: (713) 323-1670
(713) 323-1671

WHO: Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator

WHAT: Media briefing to discuss ongoing operations and sub-surface oil monitoring efforts related to the BP oil spill response

WHERE: Louisiana Fish House, 606 Short Street, Kenner, Louisiana, 70062

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010, 10:00 a.m., CDT.  The call-in number for press unable to attend is (866) 304-5784 for domestic callers and
(706) 643-1612 for international callers. Conference ID# 10742208


Recent Updates for Unified Command for the Deepwater BP Oil Spill | Deepwater Horizon Response

MEDIA ADVISORY: Admiral Allen and Administrator Lubchenco to Discuss Sea Turtle Release and Provide Operational Update on Ongoing Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill Response Efforts 0

Posted on August 18, 2010 by bp complaints

WHO:  Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

WHAT: Teleconference to provide update on ongoing Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill response efforts

WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, 12:15 p.m., EDT. The call-in number is (866) 304-5784 for domestic callers, and (706) 643-1612 for international callers. Conference ID# 95435826


Recent Updates for Unified Command for the Deepwater BP Oil Spill | Deepwater Horizon Response

Transcript – Press Briefing by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco 0

Posted on July 24, 2010 by bp complaints

Recent Updates for Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill | Deepwater Horizon Response

Transcript – Press Briefing by NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco on the Re-Opening of Closed Fishing Areas 0

Posted on July 23, 2010 by bp complaints

Recent Updates for Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill | Deepwater Horizon Response

VIDEO RELEASE: B-roll of NOAA research ship Thomas Jefferson and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco 0

Posted on June 14, 2010 by bp complaints

Recent Updates for Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill | Deepwater Horizon Response

AUDIO RELEASE: Jane Lubchenco teleconference call May 20, 2010 0

Posted on May 21, 2010 by bp complaints

Recent Updates for Deepwater Horizon Response

AUDIO RELEASE: NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco discusses BP oil spill’s trajectory in relation to Loop current May 18, 2010 1

Posted on May 18, 2010 by bp complaints

Recent Updates for Deepwater Horizon Response

MEDIA ADVISORY: Teleconference with NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco 1

Posted on May 18, 2010 by bp complaints

Recent Updates for Deepwater Horizon Response

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