BP Oil Spill: Day 104

>> Sunday, August 01, 2010

If my math is correct, today is the 104th day of the British Petroleum Gulf of Mexico oil spill. With CEO Tony Hayward getting paid $18 Million to step down after the disaster, BP has hired an American by the name of Bob Dudley to be its new CEO, I guess it is an attempt to make the foreign enemy one of us to lower the animosity. It is all a PR campaign of course, a few days ago I stumbled upon a Yahoo news article saying that the oil has disappeared as if people has been over-exaggerating the environmental impact of the spill. Imagine my surprise.

Despite the failure of the latest containment cap attempt, reports from Time Magazine, New York Times and other sites have been reporting that the oil has simply vanished, The reports claimed that some compounds in the oil would simply evaporates while bacteria in the ocean would eat what's remained. Sure, the oil kills birds but there's no real evidence suggesting that this is indeed an environmental disaster. There are tales of oiled dolphins but no one have seen it. A hundred bucks saying that these reporters have been bought, any takers?

Other than the outrage from the locals who are seeing oiled shore and dead animals daily, there is also the fact that reporters were kept far away from the affected areas. Chemicals that BP is pumping dispersant chemicals into the ocean which make the substance more toxic and volatile than the oil itself but achieve more cosmetic effects.

Last Tuesday, there was news that another oil well 65 miles South of New Orleans has been hit by a tug boat and oil is shooting 20 feet into the air. But new NP CEO Bob Dudley is already planning for a scale back on their cleaning efforts.

I'm thinking maybe BP is losing major business, putting out too much money for the cleaning up and maybe they are not doing so well. Before knowing how bad their safety record was, I felt bad for this unintentional accident and I felt bad that BP drew the short straw on it. Surely, nobody wanted an accident but using tricks to block and control the media made them despicable. With enough resource, I'm sure they can even argue the oil spill benefited the long ignored wildlife of the Gulf Coast or halted the over-fishing, but manipulated the media is not the way to go.

The next step is called "static kill" which technicians will pump heavy drilling mud into the well and then use cement to permanently seal it. These methods have all been used before on other oil spills but proved to be unsuccessful. Relief wells are being built as we speak and will probably finish by mid-August.

The BP oil spill apparently is not the only oil spill the world is experiencing at the moment. More than 2 weeks ago in Dalian, China, 2 oil pipelines exploded destroying several structures. The damaged pipes released thousands of gallons of oil, which flowed into the nearby harbor and the Yellow Sea.

At Kalamazoo River in Michigan, there's also a pipe burst that caused 800,000 gallons of oil spill into the river this past Tuesday. Are all the pipes manufactured at the same time and are experiencing metal fatigue? Oil spills are getting to be normal occurrences. Why are we still not developing alternative energy?

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