So here’s a bit of good news in the morass of bad news coming out of the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf. Turns out that BP did test Kevin Costner’s machine that separates oil from water and it appears to work:
BP’s COO of Exploration and Production, Doug Suttles, said that within the first few hours of testing the machine, the company decided to order 32 of them.
“We tested it in some of the toughest environments we could find and actually what it’s done — it’s quite robust,” Suttle said. “This is real technology with real science behind it and it’s passed all of those tests.”
Suttles said BP has committed to building four deepwater systems. Two of the systems will be barges that have machines on them and two of the systems will be a new design using 280-foot offshore supply vessels.
In total, the systems BP is rigging up will have a processing capacity of 128,000 barrels a day.
“That’s a substantial amount of capacity and can make a real difference to our spill response efforts,” Suttles said.
There’s already a lot of damage done, but better late than never in getting something like this out there where they can prove themselves in a real-world worst-case situation. If they end up helping to any decent degree then they should be made a mandatory part of every oil company’s oil spill response plan.
Which shouldn’t be too difficult considering that they all had the exact same photocopy of the piss-poor BP response plan anyway.