Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BP was "Prepared" for Spill 10 Times Greater than Deepwater Horizon

The dome didn't work. The "top kill" failed, and the "junk shot" - as promising as it sounded - didn't work either. Protective booms are failing to block oil from reaching the Louisiana coastline and the widespread use of dispersants are only adding to the ever-growing toxic soup in the Gulf.

BP is so completely out of ideas that they are going to try once again to cap the leak with a containment dome - a stragety which has already failed twice.

It is now brutally clear to everyone that BP was totally unprepared for a disaster of the magnitude that we are witnessing in the Gulf. And yet, the company told federal regulators it was prepared for a leak 10 times worse than the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Bloomberg reports that in BP's spill response plan, the company claimed to be prepared to mitigate a leakage rate of 250,000 barrels per day. Current leak estimates hover around 19,000 barrels, and yet BP has made little headway in their containment effort thus far.

According to the report:
“Proper execution of the procedures detailed in this manual will help to limit environmental and ecological damage to sensitive areas as well as minimizing loss or damage to BP facilities in the event of a petroleum release.”
Many of the techniques outlined in the report have already been tried with minimal effect: dispersants, skimming vessels, and containment booms.

The only real hope, experts now concede, is a relief well which will be completed no earlier than August. As hurricane season approaches, concerns are mounting over just how far the damage will reach, and what challenges the clean-up effort has yet to face.

So thanks a lot, BP. Good plan.

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