Latest Update on Deepwater Horizon

The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center

UPDATED July 11, 2010 7 PM

“Capping Stack” Procedure Continues, Skimming Operations Double at Well Site

At the Administration’s direction, BP continues its “capping stack” procedure—designed to capture even greater quantities of oil than the current “top hat” system. In anticipation of increased oil flow following the removal of the top hat containment device, skimmers were surged to the well site—allowing crews to take advantage of good weather conditions and skim an estimated 25,500 barrels of oily water, double the amount collected the previous day.

Currently, 46 skimmers are operating in the vicinity of the well, in addition to more than 570 skimmers deployed to protect coastlines as part of the largest oil spill response in U.S. history.

BP also is in the process of connecting a third vessel, the Helix Producer, which will increase collection capacity to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day by bringing up additional oil up through the kill line—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.

Throughout this response, the federal government has directed BP to develop more detailed plans, create redundancy measures in case those plans fail, and apply additional resources to the largest response to an oil spill in our nation’s history.

Successful Controlled Burn

Favorable weather conditions allowed responders to conduct a successful controlled burn operation for the third consecutive day. As part of a coordinated response that combines tactics deployed above water, below water, offshore, and close to coastal areas, controlled burns efficiently remove oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife. To date, more than 10.3 million gallons of oil have been removed from the water by controlled burns.

Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region

From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, a total of 240 personnel, 82 vessels, and five helicopters participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. The Wildlife Hotline received 79 reports of oiled/injured birds, four oiled/injured fish, four oiled/injured reptiles, and four oiled/injured mammals.

From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 27 two-person teams, 17 support personnel and 12 boats participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. 48 calls were received on the Wildlife Hotline.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells

The drilling of relief wells continues. The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of 17,810 feet below the Gulf surface. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of more than 15,900 feet below the surface. BP continues the “ranging” process—which involves periodically withdrawing the drill pipe and sending an electrical signal down to determine how close they are getting to the wellbore.

Administration Continues to Oversee BP’s Claims Process

The administration will continue to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who’ve suffered a financial loss as a result of the BP oil spill. To date, 104,661 claims have been opened, from which more than $165.1 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 999 claims adjusters on the ground. To file a claim, visit or call BP’s helpline at 1-800-440-0858. Those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118. Additional information about the BP claims process and all available avenues of assistance can be found at