Saturday, November 13, 2010

Never mind

Remember the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a few months ago?
Haven't thought about that in a while have ya?
Well, that's because BP has a 5 star public relations division.

Well, change is in the wind. The 350 ft barge that our tug boat baby sits was retrofitted to be an oil response vessel for BP. This extensive and costly project began before the gushing well was capped.
When they finally capped the well, the retrofitting on the barge was about 50% complete, but BP said to continue with the project.

We, the crew on the tug and barge took this decision to be a positive sign. If BP was going to continue to sink millions of dollars into this conversion project, we figured they must have long term plans, maybe permanent plans to keep us and this unit around.
You know, just a good public relations move.
I figured I would be sailing right into retirement while sitting in Fourchon, standing by with the barge, taking pictures of sunsets and waiting to called upon.

Wrong again!

Just 2 months ago the last TV news teams wiped the oil from their boots and packed up their gear, heading North, searching for other calamities to report on.
Yesterday BP informed us they will start to decommission the barge, and will be terminating the contract we had with them.
Excuse me?

BP spent 4 million dollars installing the Kevin Costner oil separators and all the related equipment, and now they are going to take a torch and strip the barge, returning her to her former life as an oil barge?

4 million dollars spent and the barge never left the dock.
You have more oil in your kitchen pantry than that barge recovered.
That barge which has the capacity to hold 135,000 barrels of oil, never saw one drop of the oil from the spill. Was it a 4 million dollar dress rehearsal ?
Or a costly PR move?

Maybe it's me, but this just doesn't begin to even look like a sound business decision.

A couple of questions come to mind.
Will the TV news crews be there to report the decommissioning, like they were there when Keven Costner was brought in for a photo opp?

BP's heartfelt commercials that sickeningly run on TV in this area about every 15 minutes and make my heart go pitter-pat, show a caring, prepared company that will make good on their mistake and be ready to respond in the event something like this were to happen again.

Removing $4,000,000 worth of oil cleanup equipment they had just paid for a couple of months ago seems to be the opposite of their public message.


More Than A Kevin Costner Fan said...

Is this the "Ella G" you're talking about? There's video showing her out on the water at:
They should NOT be dismantling her!! They should still be collecting oil!! Instead of skimmers on the top of the water they need something to get deeper down and collect the plumes that are no doubt still down there! And something to collect the oil sediment at the bottom at least where it can be reached!!

slommler said...

Unbelievable!! Well I guess not really. I figured they would sneak out of Dodge before any actual clean up was done. I am sure this will come out and bite us all in the butt at some point and then what??? Sigh!!

nacherluver said...

Very well written post about a very disturbing topic. Have you thought about going to the media with this? Of course depending on who's paying their bills at the time will probably be the deciding factor on whether they look further into it.

Karen said...

Go to the media, you have a unique view of the situation. I don't know if their hands are greased with.. oil.. but they might be receptive.. maybe you can make this dent in the situation with the unique information you are privy to.

At the very least, send a letter to the editor of the New York Times... you are well spoken, you can do it. See what attention it draws.