CNN talks with oil rig expert Bud Danenberger on the rig failure in the gulf and the potential for the oil spill. Click on link to see video. Another video follows.

Oil slick spreads from sunken rig

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=us/2010/04/23/am.lavandera.oil.rig.spill.cnn

Rain, Choppy Seas Halt Cleanup

Please consider Rain, choppy seas halt cleanup near sunken oil rig

Choppy seas, strong winds and rain halted Saturday’s cleanup of an oil spill around the massive oil drilling rig that exploded and toppled into the ocean off the Louisiana coast.

Eleven workers are still missing from the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank Thursday about 50 miles from Louisiana’s coast. They are presumed dead.

The bad weather rolled in Friday, bringing with it strong wind, clouds and rain that interrupted efforts to contain the oil spill. Petty Officer Erik Swanson of the Coast Guard said cleanup would resume once the weather cleared.

The cause of Tuesday’s massive blast off the Louisiana coast is unknown. On Friday, Coast Guard officials suspended the three-day search for the missing workers.

An undetermined amount of oil has spilled from the rig, though Swanson said Saturday morning that remotely operated vehicles had not yet detected any leaking oil from the well or rig. However, crews are closely monitoring the rig and well for any more crude that might spill out.

An oil sheen appeared to cover an area about two miles wide and eight miles long Friday afternoon.

BP, which is taking the lead in the cleanup, said it has activated an extensive oil spill response, including the remotely operated vehicles to assess the well and 32 vessels to mop up the spill. The Marine Spill Response Corp., an energy industry cleanup consortium, also brought equipment. …

BP PLC, which leased the Deepwater Horizon, opposes what it says are “extensive prescriptive regulations.”

Rough Seas, Thunderstorms Threaten Oil Spill Area

From the Weather Channel: Rough Seas, Thunderstorms Threaten Oil Spill Area

While crews race to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, severe weather and a period of rough seas this weekend will threaten the area as a line of thunderstorms is forecast to move through the region.

Thunderstorms will sweep west to east through the area, bringing thunder, lightning and up to several inches of rain to the Deep South and Gulf of Mexico.

Winds can gust more than 60 mph with these storms. These winds, in turn, would kick up waves of 5-15 feet, stirring up the ocean where the oil spill is spreading on the surface of the water.

If the 1- by 5-mile oil sheen escapes the containment area, further wave action and currents would spread the slick, possibly pulling it toward the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines.

Oil Rig Fire Image

Oil Rig Fire
(Gerald Herbert, Associated Press / April 21, 2010)
In this aerial photo taken in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana’s tip, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig is seen burning.

From the Nature Blog

Image from http://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/files/2009/10/Oil-rig-leak-fuel-into-th-002.jpg

More Oil Spill Images

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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