Looking Back at the Oil Spill - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

April 20, 2010

On the evening of April 20, 2010, an explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico ignites a massive fire on the BP-licensed Transocean drilling rig. Media reports indicate approximately 17 workers are injured and eleven are missing.

A blowout preventer, intended to close the well, fails to activate allowing crude oil to flow freely into the Gulf.

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon's 126 person crew. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

Each helmet represents one of the 11 Transocean crew members lost in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. This photo was taken during a memorial serviceheld at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, MS, on May 25, 2010. (Source: BP p.l.c.)

April 22, 2010

The $560 million Deepwater Horizon rig sinks on April 22, 2010 and a five-mile-long oil slick surfaces.

Debris and oil from the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform float in the Gulf of Mexico after the rig sank on April 22, 2010. The Coast Guard continues to search for the 11 missing workers. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

April 28, 2010

The Coast Guard estimates 5,000 barrels of oil a day are leaking from the well into the Gulf, five times more than was originally believed.

Crews attempt to manage the growing slick by burning surfaced oil.

A charred fire boom collects oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard working in partnership with local residents, and other federal agencies conducted the burn to aid in preventing the spread of oil. (Source: U.S. Navy)

Clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: U.S. Navy)

Donnie Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Elastec Inc. American Marine and U.S. Cost Guard Senior Chief Marine Science Technician Drew Jaeger attached to Gulf Strike Team from Mobile, AL, monitor a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: U.S. Navy)

April 29, 2010

Louisiana declares a state of emergency in preparation of the approaching oil slick.

U.S. Environmental Services' workers move oil containment boom onto a supply boat in Venice, LA. Staging areas are set up along the Gulf Coast to actively identify, target and protect environmentally and economically sensitive areas. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

May 2, 2010

President Barack Obama visits the Gulf Coast to assess the damage and clean up efforts first hand.

BP starts to drill a second well alongside the failed one to block oil flow. The relief well will take several months to complete.

President Barack Obama addresses the media at a Coast Guard station in Venice, LA, May 2, 2010. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

Taken from Graphic

OVERVIEW: BP intends to drill two wells designed to intersect the original wellbore above the oil reservoir. This will allow heavy fluid to be pumped into tho well which will stop the flow of oil from the reservoir. Cement will then be pumped down to permanently seal the well. (Source: BP via U.S. Coast Guard)

May 5, 2010

A 98-ton containment chamber begins its journey to the well site. The chamber is designed to be placed over the leaking well to cap the oil discharge..

Crewmen guide a pollution containment chamber onto the deck as a ship is prepared to depart Port Fourchon, LA, on May 5, 2010. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

(Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

May 7, 2010

The 98-ton containment chamber is lowered over the leak, but fails to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf.

Crew members look on as a mobile offshore drilling unit lowers a pollution containment chamber into the water to be positioned over the leaking well. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

May 11, 2010

Executives from BP, Transocean and Haliburton attend the first of many congressional hearing in Washington. The executives blame each other's companies for the explosion and resulting oil spill.

May 16, 2010

BP's insertion tube operation is successful in capturing some of the leaking oil and gas.

(Source: BP/U.S. Coast Guard)

May 19, 2010

Heavy amounts of oil wash ashore Louisiana's fragile marshlands.

A Health, Safety, and Environment worker contracted by BP collects oil that reached the shore at Elmer's Island, just west of Grand Isle, LA. Hundreds of workers were contracted to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill which began washing up on beaches here one month after the drilling unit exploded. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

An oiled reddish egret walks along a beach in Grand Isle, LA. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

A blue crab is covered in thick oil off of Elmer's Island, LA. (Source: BP p.l.c.)

May 26, 2010

BP begins "top kill" operations, involving pumping heavy fluids into the well shaft to stop oil flow.

May 29, 2010

BP stops "top kill" operations after pumping over 30,000 barrels of heavy mud saying, "the operation did not overcome the flow from the well," in a news release.

May 30, 2010

BP's group chief exectutive, Tony Hayward, cause a backlash against his company after telling reporters "There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like like my life back."

(Source: CNN)

June 7, 2010

BP announces the containment cap placed over the well on June 3 is collecting 10,500 barrels of oil a day, aproximatly half the total amount being leaked.

Remotely operated underwater vehicles, or ROVs, place a containment cap over the leaking oil well. (Source: CNN)

July 12, 2010

BP completes instalation and begins testing a new sealing cap over the well.

The capping stack blow out preventer is skidded on board the Transocean Discoverer Inspiration on top of the moon pool. (Source: BP p.l.c.)

July 27, 2010

BP announces "by mutual agreement," CEO Tony Haward is to step down as group chief exectutive, effective Oct.1 2010.

(Source: BP p.l.c.)

Aug. 4, 2010

"Static kill" attempt to stop oil leak is a success, according to BP. This clogging technique uses pumping heavy amounts of drilling mud and cement into the well.

A monitor on the bridge of the Helix Energy Solutions Q4000 conducting the static kill of the Deepwater Horizon well displays real time underwater camera footage of the lines feeding mud to the temporary cap on the well Aug. 3, 2010. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

The Q4000 (right) continues testing before beginning the "static kill," an operation in which heavy drilling mud and cement are slowly pumped into the wellhead to begin the process of killing the BP well permanently. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

Personnel from BP, Helix Energy Services, Wild Well Control and Supreme Services monitor pressure gauges linked to lines on board the Q4000 on Aug. 3, 2010. Drilling mud is pumped from the vessels Blue Dolphin and HOS Centerline down 5,000 feet to the temporary cap on the Deepwater Horizon. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

Sept. 17, 2010

Nearly five months after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, officials announce that BP's well "is effectively dead," according to media reports.

Drill floor workers remove the drilling equipment that completed the relief well and made the intersection. (Source: BP p.l.c.)

The drill bit that completed the relief well and made the intersection. (Source: BP p.l.c.)

Sept. 19, 2010

Nearly five months after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, officials announce that BP's well "is effectively dead," according to media reports.

“This is a significant milestone in the response to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and is the final step in a complex and unprecedented subsea operation – finally confirming that this well no longer presents a threat to the Gulf of Mexico,” Tony Hayward, BP group chief executive said in a news release. “However, there is still more to be done. BP’s commitment to complete our work and restore the damage done to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf coast and the livelihoods of the people across the region remains unchanged.”

(Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

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