Friday, June 4, 2010

British Petroleum - Net Zero Oil Spill?

Wait one minute, hold the phone, stop the damn party!

British Petroleum announced this morning they may be capturing 90% of the oil coming from a runaway well head at 5000' feet.

Cause for celebration?

I say no.

Here's the analysis.

When it comes to hard and fast data for the Gulf oil disaster, getting a handle on actual barrel spill numbers is as slippery as the oil currently contaminating the Gulf.

This is mainly due to the fact that BP, NOAA, and the US Coast Guard all seem to be working from the same oil spill spread sheet prepared by BP's legal teams. For the sake of argument we'll use their published numbers.

Here's what we do know.

1. The estimated daily oil spill prior to BP's opening of the well head was 12-19 thousand barrels a day with an original estimate being 5000 barrels a day.

2. After the well head was opened this week so BP could cap it an estimated 60-100,000 barrels a day was gushing into the ocean.

3. BP's Top Hat procedure, deemed a success this morning "might be" capturing 90% of that full stream of oil.

Playing with the rough numbers here, actually just scratching with a pencil on the back of an AT and T bill, I am coming up with 6-10,000 barrels a day that are still coming out of the well head, a net gain of zero, or close to zero, with a titanic oil plume being generated in the process.

Happy Thoughts

I am comforted by the understanding that the 2010 Hurricane season (see link) is upon us. I am also comforted that BP fully acknowledged that once a hurricane hits the region their ships and oil recovery teams will exit the scene, leaving the full stream of oil to do it's worst until they can come back and reconnect.

If they reconnect.

Let us not celebrate the technical genius that is BP this day. Instead let us all consider the slippery numbers, facts, and outright bull-shit that has been BP's dog and pony show since this entire sad fiasco started over 45 days ago.

With eyes on the Gulf region this month it is not surprising that Sky Truth who were the first non governmental group to declare the oil spill at many times higher than official estimates have found what looks like another, smaller oil spill, at platform 23051.

Live video feeds here.

Patric Douglas CEO

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