Why no barges?

I spent a lifetime in the oil fields and experienced a couple of blowouts – gnat-size compared with BP’s Gulf fiasco, at 1,000 to 1,500 pounds per square inch borehold pressure.  I find it incomprehensible that BP’s supervisor on the Deepwater Horizon platform could overlook 20,000 PSI borehold pressure and what it was capable of.  Chances are that the blowout would have been manageable if the platform hadn’t capsized, putting BP in deep doo-doo.

That isn’t the first blowout in the Gulf, nor will it be the last.  But where was the government’s standby to prevent the oil mess that has occurred?  Where are the reclaiming barges to scoop the oil off the water, reclaim the oil by separating it from the water (something that is done one every lease in the oil fields), and collect it for marketing in tank barges? Three or four reclaiming barges could have prevented most of the mess that has occured.

Then I wonder – if oxygen were pumped down to the seabed blowout and the oil and gas set afire at the sea floor, might it burn most of the oil?

Toby Elster


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