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The Supertanker Solution

There’s a potential solution to the Gulf oil spill that neither BP, nor the federal government, nor anyone — save a couple intuitive engineers — seems willing to try. As The Politics Blog reported on Tuesday in an interview with former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister, the untapped solution involves using empty supertankers to suck the spill off the surface, treat and discharge the contaminated water, and either salvage or destroy the slick.

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Hofmeister had been briefed on the strategy by a Houston-based environmental disaster expert named Nick Pozzi, who has used the same solution on several large spills during almost two decades of experience in the Middle East — who says that it could be deployed easily and should be, immediately, to protect the Gulf Coast. That it hasn’t even been considered yet is, Pozzi thinks, owing to cost considerations, or because there’s no clear chain of authority by which to get valuable ideas in the right hands. But with BP’s latest four-pronged plan remaining unproven, and estimates of company liability already reaching the tens of billions of dollars (and counting), supertankers start to look like a bargain.

UPDATE (May 27): Obama Glances Over Supertanker Question as BP, Coast Guard Fail to Respond

UPDATE (May 26): The Pragmatic Oil Spill Fix That BP’s Still Waiting On

UPDATE (May 24): Sources Say BP Looking Beyond ‘Top Kill’ with Supertanker Fix

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/gulf-oil-spill-supertankers-051310#ixzz0pjJjkVVH
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1 Comment»

  fred941 wrote @

It should be part of every offshore drilling contract that a fleet of supertankers be assembled to collect the spilled oil in the event of any disaster.


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