BP oil spill clean-up costs spiral to $33 million a day

BP oil spill clean-up costs spiral to $33 million a day

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Earth••• BP is facing increasing financial pressure as clean-up costs following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill spiral to $33 million a day.

Amid rising anger over a huge oil slick hitting U.S. shores, BP officials on Friday denied botching the month-long clean-up and deliberately hiding the true extent of the spill.

As Grand Isle, Louisiana, closed its seven-mile beach to clean up an orange-liquidy slick washing ashore, the British energy giant once again postponed an operation aimed at permanently stopping the leak.

The ‘top-kill’ operation to inject heavy drilling fluids into the ruptured well, a month after the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig, and then seal it permanently with cement, will now not take place until Tuesday at the earliest instead of at the weekend.

Just how much oil is gushing daily from the rig’s wreckage has been a contentious issue, with BP initially putting the figure at 5000 barrels.

‘That was not just BP’s estimate. That was the estimate of the in-flight command, including NOAA and the Coast Guard. That’s the best estimate we have,’ BP’s chief operating officer Doug Suttles told ABC television Friday.

But in further confusing comments, BP also radically slashed by more than half its figures for how much of the oil it is siphoning up daily from the ruptured well via a 1 mile insertion tube.
BP spokesman John Curry said it now estimated some 92,400 gallons of oil had been diverted from the well in the 24 hours before midnight on Thursday.

That would mean BP is sucking up only 2,200 barrels daily from the pipe, not the 5,000 barrels it had estimated on Thursday.

Coast Guard commandant Thad Allen later told reporters that the flow was variable, fluctuating from a low rate of 2000 barrels a day to a high of 5,000 barrels.

Live webcam pictures showed more oil continuing to spew into the Gulf from the ruptured well — as visitors flocked to BP’s site to watch the video.

Even at the lowest estimates, more than six million gallons of crude have flowed into the water since the disaster.

And independent experts have warned the flow could be at least 10 times higher than the current estimates.

Suttles sought to quell the growing anger among the US administration, telling ABC television that BP had already spent $700 million on the clean-up.

‘We’ve mounted the largest response ever done in the world. We put 20,000 people at this.
‘I understand the anger. But I can tell you, I don’t know of anything, absolutely anything we could be doing that we’re not doing,’ he said.

But he also revised the timetable for when BP would attempt its latest bid to stop the leak, the ‘top kill’ operation.

‘Our current forecast for when this operation will take place is sometime in the early part of next week. The best estimate is Tuesday,’ Suttles told reporters.

He added the operation was very complex and was being carried out by robotic submarines positioning the equipment on the seabed a mile down.

Meanwhile, the White House also insisted it was doing everything it could.

‘We are facing a disaster the magnitude of which we likely have never seen before… We are doing everything humanly possible and technologically possible to deal with that,’ said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

He said, however, that the government was ill equipped to deal with the disaster.

‘The technical expertise to clean up and deal with the equipment that is 5,000 feet below the surface of the sea, that’s equipment that BP has… that other oil companies have. That is not not based on equipment that the federal government has in storage.’
» Related: Weekly Address: BP Spill Independent Commission
» Related: Obama forms commission to probe oil spill


1 Response to “BP oil spill clean-up costs spiral to $33 million a day”

  1. 1 The Destructionist
    May 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    In the next four weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average will drop at least 300 points upon growing fears of the ongoing economic crisis looming in the United States and abroad as instability in Greece and other European countries suffer the devaluation of the Euro as it tumbles into “no man’s land.”

    BP’s latest attempt to cap the oil pipeline 5,000 feet underwater (a.k.a. “Top Kill”) using robots will fail. They will then come up with a “new plan” out of thin-air in an effort to seal the pipe and to instill confidence in the public. The Obama Administration will finally step in to take control of the operation, adding much needed resources in an effort to assuage the outrage being felt by Americans everywhere over this environmental catastrophe. A team of engineers and scientists will be sent down to the ocean floor, via bathyscaphe, in order to view the damage head-on and to make assessments as to how to repair the damage.

    Is this a future foretold, or just simple deductive reasoning?

    You decide.

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