July 15th, 2010
01:53 PM ET

Gulf oil FAQ's

Jim Kavanagh

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/15/oil.spill.faq/story.jpg caption="The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster began April 20 after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded." width=300 height=169]

Here are answers to some basic questions about the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

How did this all start?

The disaster, the worst environmental incident in U.S. history, was triggered April 20, when the oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, burned and then sank two days later. Eleven workers were killed.

"There is no doubt at all here that what has happened is the blowout prevention mechanism at the bottom of the well ... is defective," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said May 2 on CNN's "State of the Union."

Why is it taking so long to shut off the flow of oil? What methods have been tried to stop the oil flow at its source?

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Dan Knight

    I have a question for the experts. If BP has the oil well under control,
    why not use it. Why are they still going to kill the well? Seem a waste of money that was put into the well.

    July 16, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  2. Dimitre Stoev M.D.

    An " addition" to the new valves dispostif (is mandatory in my opinion) :
    A big container for oil,AT THE BOTTOM near valves, connected to the actual dispositif with closed valve,to be opened in CASE OF HURICANE where the oil be directed insted of the SHIP CONTAINER",which will be on shore or else,and operated with remote control to open and close valves.
    This will spare the rising HIGH TENSION IN THE SYSTEM.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    The wild life and ecological impacts are critical and need to be dealt with by agencies that understand how to deal with them, and that is not and cannot be BP; yes they can pay but not do!!
    The one question I have repeatedly asked Is OK assume it was 35,000 to 60,000 bpd from the beginning thats around 230m gallons at max 60,000 x85 x45.
    For some time Ships collected from the faulty cap about 25,000 BPD and skimmers collected do not know how much ( someone must know be able to estimate) and several surface burns as well = how much?
    What is the net issue remaining to be collected and disposed of? is my FAQ??

    July 16, 2010 at 4:46 am |
  4. Annie Kate

    One question I would like to see addressed in this FAQ is of the dead turtles, birds, etc. how many of these were from groups of endangered species? And how big a percentage does the dead represent of those endangered populations. There are 4 sea turtle species in the Gulf – all of them endangered; and what about the bluefin tuna that is being impacted and is endangered as well – how many of those have been recovered and what is the prognosis for the species in the Gulf? These wildlife numbers need to be put into context so that the importance of the numbers is truly appreciated.

    July 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm |

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