DOI News

Update: The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill


Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED July 13, 2010, 7:00 PM

* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.


Federal Scientists Oversee BP Preparations for Well Integrity Test

Following significant progress made by BP on its “capping stack” procedure—designed to capture even greater quantities of oil than the previous containment system—Admiral Allen released the following statement on the preparations for the well integrity test, which involves closing one or more of the valves on the new cap for a period of time to take pressure readings inside the well:

"Today I met with Secretary Chu, Marcia McNutt and other scientists and geologists as well as officials from BP and other industry representatives as we continue to prepare and review protocols for the well integrity test - including the seismic mapping run that was made around the well site this morning. As a result of these discussions, we decided that the process may benefit from additional analysis that will be performed tonight and tomorrow. 

“Both the Helix Producer and the Q4000 collection systems are currently on line with the potential to exceed the containment capability that existed before the sealing cap was installed, and skimmers continue to be surged to the well site in anticipation of any increased oil flow as part of the transition. The drilling of relief wells also continues- the first relief has been drilled to a depth of 17,840 feet below the Gulf surface, and the second to a depth of approximately 15,963 feet below the surface."

The graph below, produced by the Department of Energy, demonstrates the cumulative amount of oil recovered to date, combining the Helix Producer 1, Discoverer Enterprise and Q4000 vessels.

Obama Administration Sends a Fourth Bill to BP 

In an effort to provide transparency and ensure that the American public is not held accountable for the costs of the BP oil spill, the Obama Administration today sent a fourth bill for $99.7 million to BP and other responsible parties for response and recovery operations relating to the spill. The Administration will continue to bill BP regularly for all associated costs to ensure the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is reimbursed on an ongoing basis. 

As a responsible party, BP is financially responsible for all costs associated with the response to the spill. This is the fourth bill the Administration has sent to date. BP and other responsible parties have paid the first three bills in full—totaling $122.3 million.

Admiral Allen Provides Operational Update on the BP Oil Spill Response

National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen provided a briefing to inform the American public and answer questions on the progress of the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill. A transcript is available here.  

Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region

From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, a total of 284 personnel, 85 vessels, five helicopters and two air planes participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. The Wildlife Hotline received 60 reports of oiled/injured birds, 10 oiled/injured fish, seven oiled/injured reptiles, and one oiled/injured mammals.

From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 36 two-person teams, 21 support personnel and 13 boats participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. 38 calls were received on the Wildlife Hotline.

NOAA Expands Fishing Restriction in the Gulf; 65 Percent Remains Open

As a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico and protect consumers, NOAA has expanded the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico. The closed area now represents 83,927 square miles—approximately 35 percent—of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This closure does not apply to any state waters. This leaves 65 percent of Gulf federal waters available for fishing. Details can be found at

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $12 Million

SBA has approved 161 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $12.6 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 631 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $3.6 million per month in payments. For information on assistance loans for affected businesses, visit the SBA’s Web site at, call (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or email

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, 108,045 claims have been opened, from which more than $177 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 1,047 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  
By the Numbers to Date: