Tuesday, 25 January 2011

BP’s Cost of Cleaning Oil Spill Surpasses $3 Billion

The cost of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico has risen by over half a billion dollars in the past week alone, bringing the total expenditures by the British company BP to over $3 billion and counting. That total includes cleanup, capping the gushing well and paying individuals and businesses for losses and is separate from the $20 billion fund that the company has crated to pay for damages.

Even as the company continued to drill relief wells to assist in trying to plug the problem well, an oil skimming vessel is being tested in the area. The ship, a Taiwanese vessel which has been named "A Whale" was tested for maneuverability in a 25 square-mile area of water north of the problem well, but it is unknown how effective it will be in removing oil from the sea. Bad weather is delaying the ship, which is owned by shipping company TMT.

Bob Grantham, a spokesman for the company, noted, "As was the case yesterday, the sea state, with waves at times in excess of 10 feet, is not permitting optimal testing conditions." U.S. Coast Guard officials are waiting until bad conditions from Hurricane Alex subside before sending out skimming vessels. Noted Courtnee Ferguson, a spokeswoman for the Joint Information Command, "We’ve got our guys out there and they’re docked and ready, but safety is a huge concern for us, especially with the smaller vessels." As for when the weather would get better, meteorologist Mike Efferson noted, "This should remain fairly persistent through the next few days, and maybe get a little worse."

Transocean Accuses BP of Withholding Information on Gulf Spill