In what is shaping up to the be the worst oil spill in history, residents all along the Gulf Coast are losing their livelihoods and watching their futures grow dim. Serious economic damages are sure to follow! If you have been harmed by an oil spill, you need a law firm with proven success dealing with large corporations, such as British Petroleum or BP.
If you are looking for an experienced Oil Spill lawyer, call us today to seek recovery of:
- Property damage
- Lost profits and revenues
- Loss of use natural resources
- Increased cost of services
Oil has been spilling into the Gulf of Mexico since BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded and sank on April 20, 2010. At the current rate of 80,000 barrels per day, at least 20 million gallons of crude oil will be released into the ocean before experts believe they can stop it. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez disaster spilled 11 million gallons. If you need the help of the most dedicated Oil Rig Explosion Lawyers, contact us immediately for a free consultation!
Victims of Oil Spills
- Commercial fishing, shrimping and oyster industry
- Dive shops
- Seafood packers and seafood processors
- Tour operators
- Marina owners
- Boat owners
- Tourism industry, hotels, restaurants
- Loss of use natural resources
- Increased cost of services
- Any person who suffered a loss
Class action lawsuits have already been filed. If you have sustained damage or loss of income as a result of an oil spill, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our Oil Spill attorneys today!
This event has turned into an environmental nightmare. The Deepwater Horizon burned for two days before it sank and is now leaking crude oil directly into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of over 340,000 gallons per day! Some of the potential defendants include: BP (British Petroleum), Halliburton, Transocean, Cameron International, and M-I SWACO.
5/19 - Fishing banned in 19 percent of the Gulf of Mexico due to oil spill
From CNN (Source):
Washington (CNN) -- Wider restrictions on fishing in the Gulf of Mexico are raising fresh concerns in an industry already hard-hit by the massive BP oil spill.
With thousands of barrels of oil still spewing out of a damaged undersea well every day, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that it was nearly doubling the portion of the Gulf's federal waters that are now closed to fishing. The restricted zone now pushes south and east into the heart of the Gulf -- another blow to a $2.4 billion industry already reeling from the nearly month-old spill.
For Greg Abrams, a commercial fisherman in Panama City, Florida, that means his boats are being pushed further west to chase big catch like bluefin tuna, swordfish and mahi-mahi.
"They'll have to go in somewhere else, probably around Galveston (Texas), instead of coming home," Abrams said. "That'll cause some problems, but it's better to be safe than sorry."
Abrams owns a fleet of 14 fishing boats and hires another 41. One of them has caught 80 tuna in a seven-day stretch off the Gulf's Loop Current, a haul he called a "great start" to a seven-month season.
"Now he has to leave the current and go farther west," Abrams said.
NOAA's latest order extends the closed zone to a nearly 46,000-square-mile stretch, about 19 percent of the Gulf. The ongoing spill now threatens to be picked up by the Loop Current, which could spread some oil around the tip of Florida and up the U.S. East Coast.
Unconfirmed reports from researchers that large amounts of oil is spreading below the surface, as well as concerns about the effect of chemical dispersants used to break up the spill, also worry people in the industry.
Deborah Long, a spokeswoman for the Southern Shrimpers Association, said fishermen could face a "multi-generational effect" on the creatures from which they draw their living, with shrimp and bluefin tuna the two species with the most to lose.
"We're not just worried about the shrimp stocks here," Long said. "We're worried about the entire marine food chain."
Many areas off the Louisiana and Alabama coasts remain open to both commercial and recreational fishing as BP, the Coast Guard and volunteers try to battle the spreading slick offshore. But news accounts of the spill have prompted tourists to cancel fishing trips even in waters that are so far unaffected, said Sonny Schindler, of Shore Thing Charters in Diamondhead, Mississippi.
"The oil hasn't done a thing to us -- it's the exposure," Schindler said Tuesday. He added, "Our water's still open, we're still trying to fish every chance we can, and we're open for business."
And some of those who are still able to get out on the water are now seeing buyers go elsewhere, said Bobby Lovell, a crab fisherman in Louisiana's St. Bernard Parish.
State-controlled waters near New Orleans were opened for three days starting Saturday, Lovell said. He and his father laid crab traps last weekend in Lake Borgne and came back with an ice chest full of crustaceans -- but he said many of his buyers have turned to suppliers in western Louisiana, which isn't currently threatened by the spill.
Tar balls found in Florida Keys not believed to be from Gulf spill
"I'm stressed. I'm pacing back and forth, and I'm normally a calm guy," he said. However, "The big wholesalers are in the same predicament I am right now," he said.
The closures follow an April 20 explosion that sank the drilling platform Deepwater Horizon, taking 11 workers with it. Efforts to shut down the well that was ripped open by the accident have failed so far, though well owner BP says it has been able to capture some of the escaping oil and pump it to a ship on the surface.
"The fish will move. They have fins. They will travel," Abrams said. "I'm just kind of upset that they didn't have a plan B to the plan A for the cleanup, and the government wasn't doing their job to keep an eye on BP."
5/12 - 'Don't Blame Me' is refrain at Gulf Oil Spill hearing
From NPR (Source):
The company that owned the oil rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico dismissed the possibility Tuesday that its failed safety mechanism caused the disaster, which has spewed millions of gallons of crude and spurred the federal government to tighten oversight of the offshore oil and gas industry.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar urged Congress on Tuesday to approve splitting up the agency that monitors offshore drilling as a result of the leak and asked for millions of dollars to boost oversight.
Industry Executives Shift Blame
Executives of the three companies involved in one of the worst spills in U.S. history acknowledged in testimony before a Senate panel that investigators have yet to pinpoint exactly what caused the disaster, but they spent little time before trying to shift responsibility for the crisis to each other.
Transocean CEO Steven Newman said the April 20 explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig was unusual because it happened after construction of the well was essentially complete. He also said BP, which leased the rig, bore responsibility.
"Offshore oil and gas production projects begin and end with the operator, in this case BP,'' Newman told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
But BP America Chairman Lamar McKay pointed the finger at Transocean, which owned the failed 450-ton blowout preventer that was supposed to shut off oil flow on the ocean floor.
"That was to be the fail-safe in case of an accident," McKay said.
Newman countered that there is "no reason to believe" the blowout preventer didn't work and that it might have been clogged by debris shooting up the well. Instead, he put the focus on subcontractor Halliburton, which was encasing the well pipe in cement before plugging it just hours before the deadly blast that killed 11 workers.
Halliburton executive Tim Probert, in turn, said his company completed its operations 20 hours before the rig went up in flames. He said the company's work was finished "in accordance with the requirements" set out by BP and with accepted industry practices.
The Senate panel's chairman, Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), opened the hearing by saying the oil rig explosion was likely due to a "cascade of errors, technical, human and regulatory."
Bingaman called the spill a catastrophic failure of technological systems and likened it to the sinking of the Titanic, the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the panel's ranking Republican, said the future of domestic oil development in this country rests with finding out what went wrong, correcting the failures and shortcomings and assuring the public offshore drilling can be conducted safely.
"I hear one message: Don't blame me," said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). "Shifting the blame game doesn't get us very far."
Changes At Embattled Oversight Agency
The massive Gulf Coast spill has prompted the Obama administration to rethink the agency charged with oversight of offshore drilling.
Salazar wants to divide the embattled Minerals Management Service into two agencies: one charged with inspecting oil rigs, investigating oil companies and enforcing safety regulations, and another to oversee leases for drilling and collection of billions of dollars in royalties. He also asked Congress for $29 million to boost inspection and enforcement activities.
"I believe the job of ensuring that energy companies follow the law and protect the safety of their workers and the environment should be independent from MMS's leasing, revenue collection and permitting functions," Salazar said.
The American Petroleum Institute responded to the plan by saying that the oil industry, which it represents, has a priority "to provide safe, technologically sound and environmentally responsible offshore operators and remain[s] committed to working with Secretary Salazar to achieve this goal."
The Minerals Management Service, an arm of the Interior Department, is currently responsible for collecting more than $10 billion a year in royalties from oil and gas drilling as well as enforcing laws and regulations that apply to drilling operations. Some critics say the two roles present a conflict.
The agency has been severely criticized in recent years over allegations that it has become too cozy with the oil industry. In 2008, an inspector general report found that workers at the MMS royalty collection office in Denver partied, had sex and used drugs with energy company representatives. Workers also accepted gifts, ski trips and golf outings, the report by Inspector General Earl E. Devaney said.
Devaney decried "a culture of ethical failure" and an agency rife with conflicts of interest.
As the hearings were under way, BP engineers were moving forward on a "Plan B" to stop the spewing oil as representatives from the British oil giant and two other companies prepared to testify before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
BP Moves To A 'Plan B'
An estimated 210,000 gallons of crude oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico each day since the Deepwater rig exploded April 20.
Last week, BP lowered a 100-ton concrete dome known as a "cofferdam" to try to cap the rupture and direct oil to the surface in a controlled manner. The attempt failed when methane released with the oil caused ice to form inside the dome, creating a jam.
The company lowered a second, smaller oil containment box into the sea near the blown-out well. But it won't be placed over the spewing well right away. BP spokesman Bill Salvin said engineers want to make sure everything is configured correctly and avoid the same buildup of ice crystals that stymied their first attempt.
Engineers hope the gas will come in less contact with seawater. BP also planned to inject methanol into the new system to help prevent buildup of methane ice, and it said crews might be able to start siphoning the leaking oil up to a tanker by the middle of the week.
At best, however, it's only a partial solution. Over the next two weeks, BP said it will pump golf balls, rope knots and shreds of tires into a partially closed valve on the sea floor, to see if it they can jam it up and stop the flow of oil that way.
Winds have continued to push the massive oil slick toward the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he expected the crisis to have a long-term impact on his state.
"Even after that oil is gone off the surface of the water, it's important to us that our people be able to go out there and continue to make a living. It's important to us that the fisheries, the habitats are restored to their healthy status," he said.
The extent of the oil spill's impact on coastal fisheries was also not known, but most experts said it would be extensive. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday expanded the area of federal waters closed to fishing west to central Timbalier Bay, southeast of Houma, La.
NOAA said the expanded area means about 7 percent of federal waters in the Gulf will be off limits. The area extends east to Choctawhatchee Bay, Fla.
Louisiana has closed state waters east of the Mississippi and a portion west of the river.
So far, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has rescued only two birds affected by the spill, a pelican and a Northern Gannet. Both were treated at the bird rehabilitation facility at Fort Jackson, La.
Boats and helicopters continued to scour the Gulf for more oiled-soaked birds, but it could take weeks — even months — before the impact on the area's birds is truly known, said Greg Butcher, director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society.
"It's impossible to project right now," Butcher said. "It could be a few; it could be a very large number."