Posts tagged ‘bp’

July 15, 2010

Oil leak at least temporarily stopped

by Ben Hoffman

This is great news:

BP says it has finally halted the geyser of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

After two days of delay, BP on Thursday started a critical test of a new fitting that at least temporarily has stopped the leak. The company announced that the well had been fully “shut in” at 3:25 p.m. — meaning no oil was leaking from a blown-out well that has spewed nearly 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf over three months.

BP Vice President Kent Wells cautioned that this was only the begining of a test intended to assess whether its damaged well was strong enough to withstand the increased pressures created by 75-ton piece of plumbing designed to either siphon most of the crude to ships or even — potentially — shut off the flow altogether.

The tests, which were expected to last six to 48 hours, began after the company was forced to halt an earlier effort late Wednesday night to fix a leaky valve. A seeping seal on the “choke line” was discovered as BP was closing the last of three valves on a massive new “stacking cap” the company has placed on the raging well.

“We had just started to crank it down when we saw the leak,” retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, commander of the federal response, said during a Thursday news conference.

The company, federal officials and drilling experts believe the new fitting offers the first realistic shot at dramatically reducing or even ending the flow of oil into the Gulf.

On Wednesday, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and a team of federal and industry experts — in what Allen termed an “overabundance of caution” — ordered a halt to the testing until BP provided more analysis and safeguards to address concerns that raising pressure in the well also raised the nightmare risk of an underground rupture.

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Finally, something worked.

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May 13, 2010

Republicans Favor Bailout Of The Oil Industry

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Senate Democrats failed Thursday in a bid to quickly pass legislation that would dramatically increase oil firms’ economic liability after massive spills like the one soiling the Gulf of Mexico.

The measure, pushed by lawmakers from New Jersey and Florida, would raise the ceiling on damages an oil company could have to pay for things like lost tourism or fishing revenue from 75 million dollars to 10 billion.

Democratic Senators Robert Menendez, Frank Lautenberg, and Bill Nelson sought immediate passage by the “unanimous consent” of all senators, but Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski objected, temporarily stalling the legislation.

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With a $75 million cap on damages, that means taxpayers will be left footing the bill, since it’s bound to cost far more than that to clean up an oil spill of this magnitude. This is socialism at its worst — socialized risks but privatized profits. We can’t afford to clean up their mess. Again.

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