3 thoughts on “BP destroys health, local economy

  1. US lawmaker accuses BP of underestimating oil spill

    (AFP) – 7 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — A key US congressman released an internal BP document showing up to 100,000 barrels of oil could be leaking into the Gulf of Mexico each day, up to 20 times more than it estimated in public.

    The oil giant’s own worst-case scenario was based on the consequences of removing both the ruptured wellhead now lying on the bottom of the seafloor and a key set of valves known as a blowout preventer (BOP), as well as incorrectly calculating the restrictions.

    According to US government estimates, some 30,000 to 65,000 barrels are escaping on a daily basis, soiling once-pristine Gulf Coast shorelines, killing wildlife and putting a major dent in the region’s multi-billion-dollar fishing industry.

    At the time the document was provided to lawmakers in May, BP was telling the public that 5,000 barrels a day were spewing into the Gulf waters and told lawmakers that up to 60,000 barrels could leak, according to Democratic Representative Ed Markey, who released two pages of the file.

    Markey, who chairs the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, accused the firm of lying to Congress in order to reduce its liabilities.

    In the document, which is itself undated, BP said its minimum estimate under such a scenario was 55,000 barrels gushing out of the well each day.

    “If BOP and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions — the rate could be as high as (approximately) 100,000 barrels per day up the casing or 55,000 barrels per day up the annulus (low probability worst cases),” it said.

    Markey, a vocal critic of BP and its handling of the disaster, lit out against the firm he said was “either lying or grossly incompetent.”

    “First they said it was only 1,000 barrels, then they said it was 5,000 barrels, now we’re up to 100,000 barrels,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    “It was their technology, it was their spill camp, they’re the ones that should have known right from the beginning; and either to limit their liability or because they were grossly incompetent, they delayed a full response to the magnitude of this disaster.”

    BP rejected the charge, noting that the conditions it had stated for the worst-case scenario to develop were not in place then, and are not in place now.

    “It’s completely misrepresenting what were saying,” BP spokesman Robert Wine said about Markey’s reaction.

    “We were saying that if two conditions were met simultaneously — one that we got the modeling restrictions wrong and if the blowout preventer were removed — then we could have 100,000 barrels of oil.”

    He told AFP the estimate “has nothing with the amount of oil that’s actually escaping at the moment.”

    According to Wine, “there is no way the BOP is being moved” because the valve system plays a critical role in the collection effort, estimated to be retrieving or burning up to some 25,000 barrels of fresh crude each day.

    “The blowout preventer is being kept in place and is not being moved until we can guarantee to the authorities and the public at large that the well is being killed and poses no threat,” he added.

    US lawmakers have assailed BP for its response to the worst oil spill in US history, which began with an April 20 explosion of its deepwater rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers.

    Copyright © 2010 AFP.

  2. Egypt oil spill threatens marine life

    June 21, 2010

    AFP

    An oil spill off the Egyptian Red Sea coast of Hurghada, threatening to damage marine life in the area, has prompted environmental agencies to demand tighter regulation of offshore oil platforms.

    Large quantities of oil have appeared in recent days around the resorts of Hurghada, which draw millions of tourists who come to dive or snorkel, according to the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Agency (HEPCA).

    “It started four or five days ago and the companies responsible didn’t notify anyone. It is catastrophic,” HEPCA managing director Amr Ali told AFP.

    The spill was caused by leakage from an offshore oil platform north of Hurghada and has polluted protected areas and showed up on tourist beach resorts.

    “The companies have said they will pay damages, but it is the environmental damage that we are concerned about,” Ali said, declining to name the companies for legal reasons.

    “We will take all measures, including legal, to make sure this does not happen again,” he said.

    HEPCA’s warning comes amid ongoing efforts to contain the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has damaged fragile ecosystems along the US south coast and halted the region’s multibillion-dollar fishing industry.

    HEPCA, a non-governmental organisation based in Hurghada, has been working for the protection of natural resources in the Red Sea.

    Egypt’s environment and tourism ministries said the oil spill was contained and measures were being taken to “deal with the pollution caused by the spill”, the official MENA news agency reported.

    Authorities protective of the lucrative tourism industry were eager to resolve the matter quickly. Environment Minister Maged George and Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy visited the area of the spill on Saturday, but HEPCA said it was too little too late.

    “Visits won’t help. We would like to see a clearer plan of action on the ground,” Ali said.

    “We would also like to see more stringent standards imposed on these offshore platforms to ensure natural areas are protected,” he said.

  3. Pingback: ‘BP lied about Gulf oil spill’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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