Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What oil?

I heard today from a very reliable source, there isn't much oil in the Gulf to be picked up.
Say what?

BP has given our company a budget of 6 million dollars to retrofit this barge.
The barge has people crawling all over it for 3 shifts a day, every day.
The barge has been transformed into some floating equipment carrier.
And the oil is gone?
We haven't even left the dock yet!

It's true, the big oil patches that stretched for miles the first few weeks are a distant memory.
The funny thing is, the amount of oil that has been recovered from the 200 or so skimming vessels doesn't even come close to the 150 million gallons that has escaped that damaged well.

The air strikes that BP had called in day after day with planes dumping dispersant on the oil, were successful.
They were successful in removing most of the oil from the surface.
They were successful in hiding the oil from the public, because it is now unseen, under water, forming little patches of thick tar that search for underwater currents to take them away.
The oil didn't reach the much talked about marshes, so BP thinks that's a good thing.

I learned this today during a class I had to attend, explaining the operation of all this new oil spill equipment we now have.
The class was run by a gentleman from Norway. Norway is the home to the company that makes much of this equipment.
His presentation was very impressive. Especially the various video he shared with us, showing real life footage of his equipment in action during various spills around the world.
Let me say this. Norway has their act together when it comes to oil spills. They have equipment and ships deployed in and around their waters, IN CASE OF A SPILL.
They don't wait for a spill to occur then wonder how to clean it up.

At one point he stopped the meeting and told us to take a 10 minute break.
I found myself standing near him and a few other guys talking about this situation.
It was then he told me that it's becoming harder and harder to find any oil to pick up.When I asked him to explain he did, saying that BP has sprayed more dispersant on this oil spill than ever before in the history of oil spill clean up.

Because of the huge amounts of chemicals used to disperse the oil, the environmental scientist's
have no idea of the environmental impact down the road.
Isn't this just great? What crazy people agreed to this method of oil spill clean up?

I was hoping to be a very small part of the solution to this disaster, instead I'm just part of a big show.

I then asked this Norwegian instructor of ours, "Why are we doing all of this," meaning this million dollar project on our barge.
He rolled his eyes and said with this sly smile, "Because BP is paying you to do it."
I said, "None of this makes any sense."

He did not disagree.


Keda said...

oh... bother. That can't be good. And BP just gets of without a hitch. Someone needs to make them pay, and I do not mean a once off. They should pay every single time a new consequence of their stupidity is found... Really. This is so sad and such a huge predicament.

Whatever you guys end up doing in NOT helping BP (even though they pay you), but the environment, Good Luck! And if it ens up that nothing can be done, then God help us.

Karen said...

This is so unbelievably wrong. How was the mass dispersal of the oil dispersing chemicals approved??... and all that time and energy and money wasted on waiting and installment of equipment that's not even going to be used, in what would have been a safer method.

It's as if all of you were employed so that they could show that they were "doing something"... on paper, anyway. How obscenely rich they must be to be able to waste the millions and millions on these wasted efforts.

It's clear you wanted to be among those making a difference, Mark. I'm sorry you're caught in their quagmire.

slommler said...

Oh dear...I think we are heading for a disaster of biblical proportions! This is not good...not good at all!
I am still concerned about all that oil drifting to who knows where. This is totally sick!!!

dcpeg said...

You described just what I was afraid of when I heard about the dispersants. It was strictly cosmetic and BP had to know that.

Where were the scientists who also knew that? Why didn't someone with authority and knowledge step in and say NO to the dispersants??

If I wasn't so angry I'd cry . . .

Dan Kent said...

This is a case of appearances being more important than reality - to BP. BP's image is what it is all about. Salvaging public opinion. The environment is expendable. Fool the public - that's the ticket! Thanks for letting us know about this. Now I will throw up.

Marilyn said...

How very frustrating for you and all of us. It does scare me to know there will be an impact someday on the environment. They cannot hide this forever.