Gulf Shores Alabama

Gulf Shores Oil Spill Info Links & Photos

Gulf Oil Spill Update, Saturday, June 5, 2010, 5:00 p.m.

Like everyone along the Gulf Coast, the CVB is monitoring the clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and relying on official updates from the Unified Command response team and local emergency management officials for information. We will continue to post confirmed updates on this page as they become available.

* Friday, we saw some scattered oil impact across the island, ranging from tarballs to patches of oil and reports of odor, but clean-up began quickly. Local officials reported no new oil had come ashore Saturday. Visitors are reminded not to touch oil in any form and to leave it for clean-up crews. To report sightings of oil or tarballs on the beach, please call 866-448-5816. To report oil impacts to wildlife, contact 866-557-1401.
* We were prepared for this after the NOAA forecast of the last few days and we are still monitoring the NOAA map for changing conditions. Local officials have protected sensitive areas of the coast and clean-up crews are being dispatched as needed. National, state and local response teams are deployed at sites along the coast to deal with local effects.
* At this point, we do not know what extent of impact we will receive and just have to wait and be prepared.
* The pier at Gulf State Park is closed for fishing. However, the pier is still open to sightseers.
* The Alabama Department of Public Health has issued a swimming advisory for waters off Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. A swimming advisory means individuals are discouraged from swimming in gulf waters or in bay waters immediately adjacent to Fort Morgan. The beaches are OPEN and visitors are still welcome to sunbathe and walk the beach, but we suggest they swim in a pool or enjoy our many off-beach activities. To read advisory information and frequently asked questions, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health website.
* Perdido Pass is open and will not be closed to recreational or commercial boat traffic. Ocean boom is in place at the pass and boaters are asked to be careful navigating through the pass. Ono Island has closed its canals and harbor. Ono Island is privately owned and the decision was made by their private neighborhood association, not any government agency.
* NOAA has again extended the limit of the closed fishing area for federal waters eastward to Panama City, Florida. The Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources has closed state gulf waters and some inshore waters. To view a map of the closed area, go to
* According to NOAA, tarballs DO NOT pose a health risk to the average person. However, beachgoers are advised not to pick them up or bury them and asked to report any sightings. To read NOAA’s information about tarballs, click here.
* We will continue to monitor the situation and post information pertinent to our local area as it becomes available.
* For detailed information about the entire incident, visit the NOAA ( or Deepwater Horizon ( response sites.

Gulf Oil Rig Fire

Oil Rig Fire Photos

Gulf oil rig explosion photos

Gulf oil righ fire explosion photos

Gulf oil rig fire photos

Gulf oil righ fire and boats

Map of Gulf oil rig explosion

Day 2 of oil rig explosion

Oil rig fire day 2 photos

Column of smoke from oil rig

Oil rig sinking photos

Smoke from Oil Rig Fire and Explosion

Gulf oil rig before explosion photo

Mobile, AL television is a good source for local daily information. is an update site that includes the entire area and is a very comprehensive site.
information and links with forms.

Alabama Coastal Foundation:

Alabama Wildlife Federation:

Mobile Bay NEP:

Mobile Baykeeper:

Mobile Bay NEP Facebook Group:
'Help Save the Gulf Coast from the Oil Leak'

Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau:
Contact the state-organized volunteer bank by dialing 2-1-1 or 888-421-1266

Volunteer: 1-866-448-5816 1-866-448-5816.
If you have a boat: 425-745-8017 425-745-8017.

To report oiled wildlife: 1-866-557-1401

To report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: 1-866-448-5816

Join and Support:Alabama Coastal Foundation

What Happened:

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig caught fire, burned for two days, then sank in 5,000 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico. There are still 11 men missing, and they are not expected to be found.

The rig belongs to Transocean, the world’s biggest offshore drilling contractor. The rig was originally contracted through the year 2013 to BP and was working on BP’s Macondoexploration well when the fire broke out. The rig costs about $500,000 per day to contract. The full drilling spread, with helicopters and support vessels and other services, will cost closer to $1,000,000 per day to operate in the course of
drilling for oil and gas. The rig cost about $350,000,000 to build in 2001 and would cost at least double that to replace today.

The rig represents the cutting edge of drilling technology. It is a floating rig, capable of working in up to 10,000 ft water depth. The rig is not moored; It does not use anchors because it would be too costly and too heavy to suspend this mooring load from the floating
structure. Rather, a triply-redundant computer system uses satellite positioning to control powerful thrusters that keep the rig on station within a few feet of its intended location, at all times. This is called Dynamic Positioning.

The rig had apparently just finished cementing steel casing in place at depths exceeding 18,000 ft. The next operation was to suspend the well so that the rig could move to its next drilling location, the idea being that a rig would return to this well later in order to complete the work necessary to bring the well into production.

It is thought that somehow formation fluids –oil /gas –got into the wellboreand were undetected until it was too late to take action. With a floating drilling rig setup, because it moves with the waves, currents, and winds, all of the main pressure control equipment sits on the seabed –the uppermost unmoving point in the well. This pressure control equipment –the Blowout Preventers, or ‘BOP’s”as they’re called, are controlled with redundant systems from the rig. In the event of a serious emergency, there are multiple Panic Buttons to hit,
and even fail-safe Deadmansystems that should be automatically engaged when something of this proportion breaks out. None of them were aparentlyactivated, suggesting that the blowout was especially swift to escalate at the surface. The flames were visible up to about 35 miles away. Not the glow –the flames. They were 200 –300 ft high.

All of this will be investigated and it will be some months before all of the particulars are known. For now, it is enough to say that this marvel of modern technology, which had been operating with an excellent safety record, has burned up and sunk taking souls with it.

The well still is apparently flowing oil, which is appearing at the surface as a slick. They have been working with remotely operated vehicles, or ROV’swhich are essentially tethered miniature submarines with manipulator arms and other equipment that can perform work underwater while the operator sits on a vessel. These are what were used to explore the Titanic, among other things. Every floating rig
has one on board and they are in constant use. In this case, they are deploying ROV’sfrom dedicated service vessels. They have been trying to close the well in using a specialized port on the BOP’sand a pumping arrangement on their ROV’s. They have been unsuccessful so far.

Specialized pollution control vessels have been scrambled to start working the spill, skimming the oil up.
In the coming weeks they will move in at least one other rig to drill a fresh well that will intersect the blowing one at its pay zone. They will use technology that is capable of drilling from a floating rig, over 3 miles deep to an exact specific point in the earth –with a target radius of just a few feet plus or minus. Once they intersect their target, a heavy fluid will be pumped that exceeds the formation’s pressure, thus
causing the flow to cease and rendering the well safe at last. It will take at least a couple of months to get this done, bringing all available technology to bear. It will be an ecological disaster if the well flows all of the while; Optimistically, it could bridge off downhole.

It’s a sad day when something like this happens to any rig, but even more so when it happens to something on the cutting edge of our capabilities. The photos that follow show the progression of events over the 36 hours from catching fire to sinking.

We are all hoping for the best possible outcome in the face of this crisis and will keep you posted as we receive additional information.




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