The Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill: Thoughts About the Crisis

The Deep Water Horizon rig which was a Transocean craft operating off the Louisiana coast at a depth of more than 5,ooo feet. This operation was a British Petroleum operation and British Petroleum does not exist but is succeeded by BP LPC. I usually refer to the corporation British Petroleum. Transocean is, I am fairly sure, a Swiss based corporation and had flagged this ship as Marshall Islands vessel although it had no historical operation ties with the tiny islands and was built in the Far East not the middle of the Pacific. These corporations allege that Halliburton which was the cement contractor possibly had something to do with the  accident which resulted in an explosion, eleven deaths and the sinking of the floating Deep Water Horizon rig. The Mineral Management Service is charged with the safety of these offshore rigs and also collects money from offshore leases for the coffers of the US government. Since April 19 it is alleged by many that 5,000 barrels or 210,000 gallons of crude oil every day have been percolating up and gushing out of the wrecked well. That is well over 4,000,000 gallons of oil.

The Louisiana coastline nearby is a fragile saltwater marsh. Pelicans, rare sea turtles, a pod of sperm whales, porpoises, rare terns and 400 other species breed (mostly at this time of year in these marshes) other rare species breed in adjoining states. The Atlantic Bluefin tuna reproduces only in thses waters. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port or LOOP acts as the door to a huge portion of US petroleum imports. New Orleans and the Mississippi River serve as a very major world port.  The fisheries of varied commercial and recreational finfish are an enormous industry. In addition hundreds of millions of annual dollars in income are derived from the harvest of oysters, shrimp and crabs. Countless small ports and resorts are operational fo fisheries and beaches throughout the Northern Gulf of Mexico.  

Culturally and historically this calamity comes at a time when many other factors stress the cultures and communities and states in this reason. In addition there are very grave geopolitical  consequences. I hope to comment more about this crisis in future blog posts. I am already committed to discussing this and have done so elsewhere. The problems raised are not new to me.

Please read this old post: 

https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/ideal-wetlands-policy-on-the-louisiana-coast/

I will return to this topic when I can. I have made a few editorial changes since publication adding about ten words above and also now saying that the companies involved asked for environmental waivers, flagged a ship with an undemanding flag of convenience, had no extraordinary measures ready to deal with the extraordinary drilling that have been shown to be very prudent or excellent measures. The company which made several billions in profits in the last reported quarterhas so far allegedly spent about 350 million US dollars on response to the spill.  It would seem to me that their lack of respect for this location and the nature of the project demands the most forceful legal response conceivable. Stopping at the legal limits of response is probably imoral but it is what one might ask people to do for the sake of preserving this civilization. This may not be an act of war or piracy but it is nearly tantamount to such an act.

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4 responses to “The Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill: Thoughts About the Crisis

  1. franksummers3ba

    Hello Readership,

    BP has announced that as of May 13, 2010 it has already spent $450,000,000 responding to the spill. In addition it estimates current daily expenditures at $32,000,000 and not the $6,000,000 announced previously. I must hope these numbers are true and if true wish them luck in overcoming my honest presumption of their near piratical behavior. If they fully address the issue then we must see how great the damage is in order to fully evaluate the risks they took.

  2. Pingback: More Thoughts about the Oil Spill « Franksummers3ba's Blog

  3. franksummers3ba

    Hello Readership,

    Today May 17, 2010 BP has announced that it has successfully inserted one pipe into a broken pipe amid the leaks a mile down. Estimates are that 85% of the leak is out of the pipe where the insert was achieved. There is a great deal of debate about how much of that 85% is being captured by the siphoning pipe. The BP estimate is that 20% of the 85% is being captured.

  4. Pingback: BP Has Failed to Stop the Gusher: A Catalogue of My Blog’s Coverage « Franksummers3ba's Blog

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