Tuesday, 25 January 2011

BP Oil Spill Cleanup Hindered by Hurricane Alex

Hurricane Alex made landfall in northeastern Mexico on Wednesday and posed problems for the BP oil spill cleanup work in progress. The oil spill from BP's ruptured deep sea well is well into its 10th week, and is the worst oil spill in US history. It had hit tourism and fishing badly, destroying wildlife and was also the reason for soiled shorelines.

Though a permanent solution by BP seems weeks or months away, Hurricane Alex severely hampered BP's current cleanup process in which they are using means like controlled oil burning, skimming and dispersant chemical spray. It has also delayed BP's big plan to increase the volume of oil it siphons from the ruptured oil well. Alex is a level 2 storm with winds up to 100 mph, and is moving westward at a speed of 10 mph. On Thursday it is expected to continue moving in the same direction over inland Mexico. It is expected to separate and go in different directions over Mexico in about 2 days time.

Very rough seas and winds are prevalent in the Gulf Coast at this point of time. BP, however, continued oil capture and relief well drilling at the accident site even through the bad weather. BP is in the process of drilling 2 relief wells whose aim is to intersect and then plug the leaking oil, but this will take weeks to materialize. BP's market capitalization has diminished by $100 billion besides their shares losing more than half their value since the accident. The oil giant has already pledged to set up a $20 billion fund that is independently administered, which will compensate victims of the oil spill, but environmentalists say this is now where near enough. Nevertheless, the BP oil spill cleanup will go on, and needs to, hurricane or no hurricane.