Skip to comments.Former Shell Oil Chief, Engineer: Supertankers Could Save the Gulf, So Why Won't BP Listen?
Posted on 06/04/2010 9:18:54 PM PDT by GVnana
John Hofmeister and Nick Pozzi tell Fast Company how a possible solution to the Gulf Oil spill is sitting under BP's nose.
Underwater robots, containment domes, top hats, hot taps, junk shots ... the potential fixes to the Gulf Oil Spill sound like they come straight from a cringeworthy disaster flick (or a PR think tank). But what if the solution is right under our noses? What if it's already sitting in the Gulf? John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil, and Nick Pozzi, a former pipeline engineering and operations project manager for Saudi Aramco, think it might be.
According to Hofmeister, oil supertankers could be used to suck up massive amounts of oil--possibly millions of barrels at a time.
In an interview with FastCompany.com, Hofmeister explained that a little-known Saudi oil spill from an offshore platform in the early 1990s dumped more crude into the sea than any spill in U.S. history (think hundreds of millions of gallons). But the government and local press kept it quiet. And that's why one of the big fixes in the Saudi oil spill--the oil-skimming supertanker--hasn't been publicized.
"[They] figured out how to deploy supertankers that had the ability to both intake and discharge liquids in vast quantities with huge pumps," Hofmeister explained. "The supertankers could simply suck in seawater and oil simultaneously--they can hold millions of barrels--and when full, they could discharge oil at a port into tanks where they could separate oil from water. The idea is novel in that you can get massive of oil amounts quickly." Once the supertankers make it to to the port, water can be treated and discharged, and oil can either be used or destroyed.
(Excerpt) Read more at forums.hannity.com ...
After learning about the supertanker technique a few weeks ago, Hofmeister decided to bring it to the government's attention. "I've been trying to connect engineers with decision-makers at the Coast Guard and in the interior department," he said.
Pozzi and his business partner Jon King have also tried to contact officials, with no luck. "I called the President of BP, got his secretary and then got a call from a lady inside the building we were standing outside of. We never really heard back from her. Nick also knew some people and got one of the men in charge of the spill. He threatened to sue Nick for not going through channels," King said.
In the meantime, our too-cowardly-to-chase-an-ambulance "president" tells the Gulf Coast citizenry to let their businesses die, put on the neck braces, and wait for a lawsuit settlement.
Shell has more experience at this, I think.
This confirms what I have heard, right AAC?
Meanwhile BP is doing the only thing that is absolutely sure to work, which is drilling the relief wells. And not just one, but two of them. All the other ‘fixes’ are just ‘hey, wonder if this will work’ type things, just to pass the time while the relief wells are being drilled.
Truthfully, all these ‘I got the answers, but BP’s too cheap to do it’ guys are just seeking media time. I guarantee all their ideas have been considered, and dismissed not because of cost, but due to their being ineffective ideas. Because if it did work, you've got tens of millions of gallons of oil just sitting there for the taking - why not just go collect that free money yourself if BP’s too cheap to do it. And heck, make the feds pay you at the same time too.
Obama has a better solution
call in the lawyers, that should fix the problem
You've got a point, but who says the feds would let you? Where are you going to refine the oil, and would the EPA allow you to discharge the water? Probably not.
This situation cries for leadership and we have none.
We’ll have to wait to see if James Cameron approves of this. /sarc/
I believe Newt Gingrich referred to previous spills where the supertankers were used to great effect. It was in the Indian Ocean, IIRC.
What you said is true. Oil pouring out of a gash in the hull of a tanker vessel is quite different than an atomized oil/water jet a mile down. Also, supertankers are designed for storage and transport. They are hardly optimized skimming vessels.
This policy has been SO effective that one can hardly find a criticism of Saudi offshore-drilling policy ANYWHERE. It also happens to be all of 1) practical, 2) effective, and 3) easily accomplished, given the availability of appropriate vessels, of which the Saudis have no shortage.
I'll **cheerfully** bet you my life against a cold beer that A) BP would gladly deploy assorted vacuuming ships/barges, were the assorted Reicharschloches of this administration to let them do so, B) the Kenyan doesn't want this to occur because he, doctrinally, believes that a collapse of Gulf states' economies benefits him (...gee, not a coincidence that **every** governor of the 5 Gulf states is...shock me!...a Republican!), and C) the same said bastard is and has been deliberately involved in the destruction of as many portions of the American economy as possible since 20 January 2009.
Care to fade me, laddiebuck?
Some enterprising salvager can make a killing...if he had the right equipment.
They’ll get the oil. Just not from this particular hole.
Who me? Nah, I agree with you. The problem is that BP is Saudi and has much less experience at the deep drilling than Shell.
So why won’t BP listen?
Because increasingly, it looks more and more like the White House wants to inflict as much damage as they can to as many people as they can for as long as they can.
If they ruin the economies of the Red States, that increases their chances of consolidating power.
^*We're not BP*^
and they have the machines in the gulf to do just that. These machines use centrifical force to suck up the oil and water, separate them, and spit oil out one side and water that's 97% pure - pure enough to drink - out the other.
BP had tested them and They and Adm. Allen approved them and want to use them. 3 weeks later - nada. They can't go ahead without permission for the WH - who is, as we've been told “IN CHARGE.” (The one thing the “WON” is good at is dithering - or fiddling?)
Why the news blackout on this - hasn't been an update in a week or more. Put these tankers and machines together - and the oil can be stopped from circling around Florida, up the eat coast and off to Europe. (It took the “WON” 6 months of dithering before he finally, and too late for a lot, sent some troops to Afghanistan) -
so what's the holdup? Is the “WON” afraid of Costner and his machines stealing the limelight?
Let Rome burn?
Mere triffles to consider. Venezuela would love the PR storm of 'saving' the United States by using supertankers to sweep the ocean, and then process the oil for home heating by poor Americans. I mean, really, the PR nightmare of some fed trying to stop a Venezuelan flagged vessel from sucking up oil that is floating around in the gulf?
It's not that it's too expensive to do, or that there's no technology available, it just is that it wouldn't do anything useful.
In answer to your remarks : “you’ve got tens of millions of gallons of oil just sitting there for the taking - why not just go collect that free money yourself if BPs too cheap to do it. And heck, make the feds pay you at the same time too.
“You’ve got a point, but who says the feds would let you? Where are you going to refine the oil, and would the EPA allow you to discharge the water? Probably not.
“This situation cries for leadership and we have none”
see post #17.
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