Tuesday, June 29, 2010
In a panel discussion in South Africa, former President Bill Clinton articulated what many of us have thought all along. It may become necessary to blow up BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well that continues to spew oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
“Unless we send the Navy down deep to blow up the well and cover the leak with piles and piles and piles of rock and debris, which may become necessary – you don’t have to use a nuclear weapon by the way, I’ve seen all that stuff, just blow it up – unless we’re going to do that, we are dependent on the technical expertise of these people from BP.”
But critics suggest the company is forgoing that option out of a desire to get as much oil as possible from the rig.
Columbia University Christopher Brownfield said:
“If we demolish the well using explosives, [BP’s] investment’s gone. They lose hundreds of millions of dollars from the drilling of the well, plus no lawmaker in his right mind would allow BP to drill again in that same spot. So basically, it’s an all-or-nothing thing with BP: They either keep the well alive, or they lose their whole investment and all the oil that they could potentially get from that well.”
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) agrees with Bill Clinton:
“For the life of me, I can’t understand why BP couldn’t go into the ocean floor, maybe 10 feet lateral to the — around the periphery, drill a few holes and put a little ammonium nitrate, some dynamite, in those holes and detonate that dynamite and seal that leak. And seal it permanently.”
If the relief wells currently being drilled on either side of the damaged well won’t be expected to reach their target until mid-to-late August at the earliest. Weather (and BP) permitting.