11 June 2013 – BP said on Monday it had wrapped up formal cleanup efforts from the Macondo spill in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, closing over three years of rehabilitation work since the deadly blowout in 2010.
The UK supermajor’s efforts included filtering beach sand to 5 feet and remediation of marshes, as well as employing new technologies to search for oil mats and buried oil deposits.
Cleanup efforts are continuing in Louisiana, which took the brunt of the oiling from the blown-out deep-water well, an event that killed 11 workers and dumped about 4.9 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.
Work has wrapped up on 4272 of the 4376 affected miles of shoreline, BP said.
The US Coast Guard will continue oversight and any additional oil identified as being from Mississippi Canyon block 252 will be flagged for cleanup by the company.
“The transition is a significant milestone toward fulfilling our commitment to clean the Gulf shoreline and ensuring that the region’s residents and visitors can fully enjoy this majestic environment,”Laura Folse, BP’s executive vice president for response and environmental restoration.
While BP said it is working to restore the shoreline to its “baseline” pre-spill condition, the long-term effects of the oil remain unclear and its liability for civil claims and environmental damage is still pending a government impact assessment.
A decision is also forthcoming from New Orleans district Judge Carl Barbier on responsibility for the spill between BP, rig owner Transocean and cement provider Halliburton, with additional phases of a trial scheduled for later this year.
The company also signed a $4.5 billion agreement with the US Justice Department to settle criminal charges stemming from the spill.
* Kathrine Schmidt, Upstreamonline