BP officials warned Monday they may not be able to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak until August, as Louisiana residents warned the spill could wipe out dozens of fish species and their centuries-old way of life.
33% of America's seafood comes from Louisiana
Louisiana generates $2.4 billion a year from the seafood industry
Recreational fishing generates $1.2 billion a year and 27,000 jobs in Louisiana
Louisiana's shrimping season officially begins on Monday, May 31th...
Bayou La Loutre, Louisiana
George Barisich Louisiana fisherman: "People laugh at us when we say this oil spill could be worse than Katrina, but we ain't joking," he says. Until more toxicity testing is completed on the waters where Mr. Barisich usually fishes for seafood, his boat is anchored. "And that's the hardest part, because fishing is in our blood here. When you're not doing it, you don't know what to do," he says.
Charles Robin III: He is a fifth-generation shrimper, and has passed the trade on to two of his sons. He says he can smell the oil and the dispersant on most days. He has also noticed an oily sheen on the canal in Bayou La Loutre that he has never seen before. "It's getting closer, and that ain't good," he says.
Two relief wells
...the best-case scenario of sealing the leak is two relief wells being drilled diagonally into the gushing well — tricky business that won't be ready until August.
"The probability of them hitting it on the very first shot is virtually nil," said David Rensink, incoming president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, who spent most of his 39 years in the oil industry in offshore exploration. "If they get it on the first three or four shots they'd be very lucky."
For the bid to succeed, the bore hole must precisely intersect the damaged well. If it misses, BP will have to back up its drill, plug the hole it just created, and try again.
Two relief wells stopped the world's worst peacetime spill, from a Mexican rig called Ixtoc 1 that dumped 140 million gallons off the Yucatan Peninsula. That plug took nearly 10 months beginning in the summer of 1979. Drilling technology has vastly improved since then, however. (Source)