Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Recent Activities and Ongoing Developments [January 31, 2013]   [open pdf - 298KB]

"In the wake of the explosion of the 'Deepwater Horizon' offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the federal government, state governments, and responsible parties faced an unprecedented challenge. An oil discharge continued for 84 days, resulting in the largest oil spill in U.S. waters--estimated at approximately 206 million gallons (4.9 million barrels). Response activities, led by the U.S. Coast Guard, continue but have diminished substantially. 1. At the height of operations (summer of 2010), response personnel numbered over 47,000; as of January 2013, that figure has dropped to about 935. 2. As of January 2013, approximately 404 miles of shoreline, which includes beaches, marsh, and other areas, remain oiled to some degree. 3. As a responsible party, BP has spent over $14 billion in cleanup operations. To date, BP has paid over $10 billion to the federal government, state and local governments, and private parties for economic claims and other expenses, including response costs, related to the oil spill. BP estimates that a recently approved settlement will lead to an additional $7.8 billion in payments to private parties. […] In 2011, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI) redefined the responsibilities previously performed by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and reassigned the functions of the offshore energy program among three separate organizations: the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR). These agencies have promulgated several rulemaking changes, some of which are based on issues raised by the 'Deepwater Horizon' spill."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42942
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