No Salvage Efforts Yet, In the Gulf?

Yes, I get that British Petroleum is responsible, via mistakes and deliberate gambles to maximize their profits at the expense of safety and proper operation, for the runaway oilwell on the sea floor in the Mississippi Canyon. But BP hasn’t sent in salvage tankers, and no other oil company has either. How come?

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3 responses to “No Salvage Efforts Yet, In the Gulf?

  1. grahamfirchlis

    There has been some.

    http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=53517

    From what I’ve been reading, the problems are two-fold. One, there just isn’t enough equipment available to even begin to address the spill, by at least an order of magnitude. Fishgrease alluded to this regarding availability of booms, saying there was not enough in the whole world. Of course what is available should be deployed to the most sensitive areas and that isn’t happening, plus what has been put out hasn’t been done correctly so mismanagement of the limited available resources is a big concern and must be corrected regardless of how pitifully small the reward.

    Secondly, the recovery rate for open-ocean oil salvage is only about 5%.

    http://www.iosc.org/papers/01203.pdf

    Again, even if everything available world-wide was thrown at it, this spill is so massive it wouldn’t make a dent overall. What resources are deployed should also be focused on protection of the most sensitive environments, but my sense is that even then the magnitude of this disaster is simply overwhelming.

    Nobody planned for this, nobody did their jobs to minimize the risk, everybody cut corners and focused on best-case bottom line instead of being concerned with contingency analysis and zero-defect performance. That’s the product of 30 years of steady erosion of government regulatory oversight and power. No one, not Obama or the Coast Guard or the Navy or BP can do anything meaningful now but pray they get the well capped, and soon.

    There are lessons here; I don’t have a lot of hope they will be learned, absent massive civil unrest.

    [Linky back to your earlier posts on the topic, please; the readers will appreciate it.]

  2. The Other Sarah

    Well, sure, if you think the words in Texas Can’t Afford Four More Years of BP Buddy Rick Perry or Seas of Oil or Nine Years Ago, Who Was Looking Out for the Gulf need repeating, I’ll be glad to link to ’em. 😀 Feeds my ego.

    But I think more important information can be found in Fishgrease’s diaries, too, so I’m going to imitate Rachel Maddow and link back to those as well. He’s talked about booming and the top kill (which is going forward as we write) and why we need to stop listening to the lies from BP.

    He’s pointed out that there’s not enough boom. What bugs me, especially having heard James Carville’s phone call interview this afternoon upon completion of his tour, along with his wife Mary Matalin, of a marsh where Bobby Jindal went today is that what boom there is hasn’t been effectively deployed, as you suggest.

    I had heard a rumor that Schlumberger had bailed on the Deepwater Horizon in the last few hours before the well blew out because they’d been called in to run a test and the well was kicking too hard (for Schlumberger to say a well’s kicking too hard to test is like Red Adair saying a well’s burning too hot to fight the fire). Turns out that’s not the case. Schlumberger did some testing but wasn’t asked to do the “gold standard” test — it looks like BP might’ve been working off a really bad design, too.
    Everybody’s screaming for the President to do something.
    Look, I like Barack Hussein Obama as well as I’ve ever liked a President — but just like Jimmy Carter wasn’t a helo mechanic and Bill Clinton wasn’t an EOD tech, President Obama’s not an oil patch guy. For something like this (as Bill Nye pointed out on TV today) to fix this you need to be careful.
    So, yeah, I want Tweety and Buchanan and Blitzer and that whole tribe of squalling blowhards to shut the hell up and let us all think.
    Otherwise, just like all the GOP keyboard commandos need to cowboy up and enlist, they need to unclip their mikes, put on some PPE and get down there and start helping clean up.

  3. grahamfirchlis

    Excellent idea! String Tweety and Rush and Blitzer end-to-end and use ’em for boom. When the emergency is over we can run ’em through Kostner’s centrifuges and then bury what’s left in a toxic waste landfill.

    And yes, all of those posts are worth linking to. It isn’t egoism if its true.

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