Lessons of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Professor Rick Steiner, Conservation and Sustainability Consultant (University of Alaska), wrote this report for the blog firedoglake.com.

Here are some of the highlights:

–The only real solution to this uncontrolled blowout is the two relief wells being drilled to intersect the failed well stem near the top of the reservoir…. It is interesting to note that the Canadian government requires exploration wells in the Arctic Ocean to drill a relief well simultaneously with the exploration well, so that if there is a problem, the relief well is already in place and ready to go.

–One of the similarities in all large oil spills is this: oil companies and government officials habitually understate the size and impact of spills, and they habitually overstate the effectiveness of their response.

–Once oil is spilled, the battle is lost, and the damage is done. Oil spill response and “cleanup” has never been effective, and a 10% recovery rate is considered a “successful” response by most experienced responders. The BP response plan was a joke – it provided for a list of equipment from their main response contractor – the Marine Spill Response Corporation – takes you instead to a Japanese home shopping network.

Read Steiner’s report.