Timeline of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
June 6 — BP say its latest effort had captured 10,500 barrels of oil (439,950 gallons/s) in 24 hours and a second containment system should soon enable it to control the vast majority of oil.
June 7 — BP, which says it has now spent $1.25 billion on the spill, sees shares gain on news of the progress in containing the leak but still faces tough questions from investors and U.S. lawmakers.
June 8 — Obama says he wants to know "whose ass to kick" over the spill, adding to the pressure on BP. In an TV interview Obama also says that if Hayward worked for him, he would have fired him by now.
- U.S. weather forecasters give their first confirmation that some of the oil leaking has lingered beneath the surface rather than rising to the top.
June 9 — BP efforts to stop the oil spill are to come under U.S. congressional scrutiny.
June 10 — In his first comments, Prime Minister David Cameron says Britain is ready to help BP deal with the spill.
- U.S. scientists double their estimates of the amount of oil gushing from the well, saying between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels (840,000 and 1.7 million gallons/3.2 million and 6.4 million liters) flowed out before June 3.
June 11 — Supportive comments from Britain lift BP's shares in London by 6.4 percent. But the rise does not mend the damage done—the company is worth 70 billion pounds ($102 billion) against more than 120 billion pounds in April.
June 14 — Obama, on his fourth trip to the Gulf, says he will press BP executives at a White House meeting on June 16 to deal "justly, fairly and promptly" with damage claims.
- Two U.S. lawmakers release a letter to Hayward saying: "It appears that BP repeatedly chose risky procedures in order to reduce costs and save time and made minimal efforts to contain the added risk."
June 15 — Lawmakers summon top executives from Exxon Mobil , Chevron , ConocoPhillips , Royal Dutch Shell and BP.
- Obama says in his first televised speech from the Oval Office: "But make no mistake: we will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused."
June 16 — BP agrees to set up a $20 billion fund for damage claims from the spill, suspends dividend payments to shareholders and says it will pay $100 million to workers idled by the six-month moratorium on deep-sea drilling.
June 17 — Hayward faces the wrath of U.S. lawmakers as he appears before a congressional hearing. He apologizes for the spill and says everything is being done to stop it. Members of Congress accuse BP of cutting corners and ignoring warnings for the sake of profit.
June 18 — Anadarko Petroleum , part owner of the gushing well, says BP's behavior before the blowout was "reckless" and likely represented "gross negligence or willful misconduct" that would affect obligations of the well owners under their operating agreement.
June 22 — Hayward is handing day-to-day control of the spill operation to Bob Dudley — a reflection, says BP, of the need for the chief executive to return to other aspects of the energy giant's business.
June 24 — A U.S. judge refuses to put on hold his decision to lift a ban on deepwater drilling imposed in response to the spill.
June 27 — Oil washes ashore on mainland Mississippi for the first time, although some had tainted its barrier islands.
June 28 — BP is forced to defend its chief executive after Russia's deputy prime minister said he expected Hayward to resign soon.
- BP says it is now spending $100 million a day on efforts to cap the well, clean up the spill and compensate those affected, bringing the total bill so far to $2.65 billion.
- Oil from the spill washed ashore at one of the largest tourist beaches in Mississippi on Monday, forcing tourists to pack their bags and evacuate the shore.
June 29 — BP said that its oil-capture systems at the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico collected or burned off 25,220 barrels of oil on Tuesday.
- A U.S. appeals court set oral arguments for July 8 on the Obama administration's request to stay a ruling that lifted its six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in response to the spill.
- U.S. lawmakers investigating the BP spill asked major energy companies for information on their response plans after it was discovered some companies' plans had errors including protecting species that don't live in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Tropical Storm Alex neared hurricane strength with high winds and vast waves set to hamper BP latest efforts to contain the spill
June 30 — Rough weather whipped up by the season's first Atlantic hurricane is disrupting cleanup of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, delaying plans to boost containment capacity and threatening to push more oily water onshore.
- A U.S. Senate committee Wednesday voted to eliminate limits on liability that oil companies would face for damages stemming from offshore spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, companies enjoy a $75 million cap for compensating local communities for economic losses and for cleaning up environmental damages.
June 30 — Hurricane Alex, later downgraded to a tropical storm, moved slowly inPTKwaters, disrupting the cleanup, and threatening to push more oily water onshore.
- President Obama formally directs officials to draw up a long-term economic and environmental plan to help the Gulf Coast region get back on its feet after the oil spill.
July 1 — BP shares gain, with traders initially citing talk, quickly shot down, that it had capped the leaking well.
July 3 — A supertanker converted into a "super skimmer" begins tests. The vessel can remove up to 500,000 barrels (21 million gallons/79.5 million liters) of oil and water from the sea surface a day.
July 5 — BP says that the cost of the spill had reached $3.12 billion.
July 6 — Summer storms push oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill deeper into Louisiana's wetlands and temporarily slow efforts to contain damage.
- The storms are also responsible for washing oil into Lake Pontchartraiw ordering New Orleans, further polluting Mississippi's beaches and halting tests on a supertanker adapted to skim large quantities of oil from the surface.
July 7 — Tests show tar balls washed up on the Texas coast are from the spill, meaning every U.S. Gulf state — Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and now Texas — has been soiled by the spill.
July 8 — A U.S. appeals court deals the Obama administration a setback as it refuses to halt deepwater oil drilling.
July 10 — BP remove a containment cap from the oil well in the first step toward installing a bigger cap.
July 11 — BP say it is making progress on a new system to capture almost all the leaking oil.
July 12 — BP installs a "capping stack,'' which has a better seal than the last cap placed on the well and aims to stop oil from spewing out.
BP starts shutting a sequence of valves after getting approval from the U.S. government, delaying testing by 24 hours on fears the process could irreparably damage the well. BP starts a critical pressure test to gauge pressure in the well on July 14.
July 15 — BP says it has stopped the leak—at least during testing—with the new tight-sealing containment cap.
July 16 — The company carries out tests on whether the well remains intact as it moves to plug the leak permanently with the relief well intended to intersect the ruptured well and and seal it with mud and cement in August.
July 19 — BP says it has spent $3.95 billion so far on efforts to tackle its leaking well.
July 20 — BP says it has reached a deal to sell $7 billion in assets to Apache Corp as it raises money to cover costs related to the spill.
July 23 — BP says it is temporarily suspending relief well activities due to the approach of Tropical Storm Bonnie.
July 27 — BP names American Bob Dudley as its next CEO, saying Tony Hayward will stand down on Oct. 1.
- BP reports a Q2 loss of $17 billion after covering the cost of the April 20 oil rig explosion and resulting spill. It says it plans to sell assets worth up to $30 billion over the next 18 months.
- BP says more than 5 million barrels of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since the leak began.