Bloomberg has the best overview on the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico disaster:
“Discovered through seismic imaging and data crunched on a supercomputer, the field is almost six miles (9.6 kilometers) beneath the Gulf of Mexico’s floor, in a spot where the water is almost one mile deep, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek in its May 10 issue.
To access it, the British oil company and its drilling contractor, Transocean Ltd., sank the deepest oil well ever. The $365 million rig that accomplished this feat was called the Deepwater Horizon, a floating thicket of machinery the size of two football fields, which held a crew of 130 and cost more than $500,000 a day to rent from Transocean.
The Deepwater Horizon, as a drilling rig, didn’t hang around to pump Tiber’s crude. The self-propelled behemoth motored to the site of its next exploration.
Today, the Deepwater Horizon lies upside down at the bottom of the Gulf under one mile of seawater in a place called Mississippi Canyon Block 252. Eleven of its crew are presumed dead. Oil from the last well it drilled, a much shallower, less complex job than Tiber called Macondo, is spewing out of control from the seafloor, with about 3 million gallons released at last estimate. A swath of the Gulf about the size of Delaware is covered by an iridescent, rusty orange sheen.”
The entire piece is excellent — informative, fact based, and contextual — well worth your read on a Sunday afternoon.
The WSJ’s interactive time line is also excellent:
Deepwater Horizon Rig Disaster Threatens Drilling
Peter Coy and Stanley Reed
Bloomberg, May 7 2010
Oil Regulator Ceded Oversight to Drillers (WSJ)
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (NYT)