News 19 May, 2010

USA - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Information

Following the sinking of the semi-submersible drilling rig Deepwater Horizon on 22 April 2010, measures to contain and clean up the resulting oil spill are continuing. Members should ensure that their vessels are fully up to date with the latest information regarding reporting requirements, port operations, navigational restrictions and hull cleaning advice. As the situation is constantly changing, Members may wish to monitor the following websites:

Spill Response

The principal source of information on the response to the spill is the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command website.

Spill Area

As far as is safe and practicable, vessels are advised to avoid sailing through the spill area. Information on the spread of the spill including trajectory charts can be found on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website. Also on the Governor’s Office, State of Louisiana website.

Spill Related Claims

BP has established a toll free phone line for processing spill related claims which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number is +1 800 440 0858. The company has also issued a statement reading as follows:

“BP takes responsibility for responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We will clean it up. BP has established a robust process to manage claims resulting from the Deepwater Horizon incident.

BP will pay all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs.

BP is committed to pay legitimate and objectively verifiable claims for other loss and damage caused by the spill – this may include claims for assessment, mitigation and clean up of spilled oil, real and property damage caused by the oil, personal injury caused by the spill, commercial losses including loss of earnings/profit and other losses as contemplated by applicable laws and regulation”.

Further information on the claims procedure can be found on BP’s website. 

Reporting Requirements, Port Operations and Hull Cleaning Information

Information on reporting requirements, port operations, hull cleaning stations and areas where spill containment booms have been established is being promulgated by the United States Coast Guard offices in New Orleans, Mobile and Morgan City via their regional websites. The details, together with all applicable Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIB), can be found in the section headed “Port Conditions”:

New Orleans, Lower Mississippi River and Southwest Pass

Bienville, Gulfport, Pascagoula, Mobile, Pensacola and Panama City

Morgan City, Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), Port Fourchon, Houma Navigation Canal, and all ports and waterways leading to and from the Atchafalaya, East and West Cote Blanche and Vermillion Bays

Additional Information

Vessels which are due to call at New Orleans or other ports in the Mississippi River should also check the Port of New Orleans website. Similarly, additional advice regarding ports in Alabama can be found on the Alabama State Port Authority website. Vessels should also liaise with their local agents regarding the latest developments.

Members requiring further information should contact the Club in the usual manner.