Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Skimming removes roughly 67,143 barrels of oil, not 38 million barrels, only a drop in the promised bucket
by Larry Geller
In a March report that was not questioned by federal officials, BP said it had the capacity to skim and remove 491,721 barrels of oil each day in the event of a major spill.
Please read the entire story on the Washington Post website at the link below.
As of Monday, with about 2 million barrels released into the gulf, the skimming operations that were touted as key to preventing environmental disaster have averaged less than 900 barrels a day. [Washington Post, Recovery effort falls vastly short of BP's promises , 7/6/2010]
This gets worse:
It wasn't until mid-June that BP's daily report noted the collection of 485,714 barrels -- roughly the amount it said it could retrieve in a day. But the June figure was for an oil-water mixture, which is about 90 percent ocean water.
The figures clearly have confused journalists, with many media outlets reporting the figures as solid oil recovery numbers.
About 90 percent of the mixture is water, so the true amount of oil skimmed is relatively small -- roughly 67,143 barrels of oil. Had the estimated amounts in the March response plan been accurate, 38 million barrels of oil could have been removed by now.
And where, exactly, is our federal government on this? Where are the regulators and our president?
"It's clear they overreached," said John F. Young Jr., council chairman in Louisiana's Jefferson Parish. "I think the federal government should have at the very least picked up a phone and started asking some questions and challenged them about the accuracy of that number and tested the veracity of that claim."
Why isn’t the Justice Department suing the pants off these guys? Perhaps it is because BP is one of our partners in crime. From this morning’s Democracy Now headlines:
BP Still Has Nearly $1 Billion Pentagon Fuel Contract
The Washington Post reports the Pentagon is continuing to use BP as a major supplier of military fuel. The annual value of BP’s contracts with the Pentagn stand at nearly $1 billion. In fiscal 2009, BP was the Pentagon’s largest single supplier of fuel.
If the fine for spills were incremental..that is for every 100,000 barrels it were to say, triple, then BP would get more assets in the area and get more oil out.
Right now, it is cheaper to pay the fine than it costs to reclaim the oil.
Interesting that the Coast Guard is threatening $40,000 fine for violating the BP oil spill "security zone". Reminiscent of the whole Superferry "Unified Command" when Gov. Lingle used the Patriot Act and "National Security" to quell civil disobedience against the illegal operation of her pet project, the Superferry.
I'm very disappointed that the President is allowing reporters to be blocked. This has to change.
Karen, BP hasn't yet been charged any fine as far as I can tell. They've been understating the leak amount consistently since they would be fined per barrel.