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Sunday, June 13, 2010

BP: Crisis in the Gulf

With my break from the site starting tomorrow I thought I should make this entry before delaying it any further. Indeed the BP oil crisis has almost been going on for almost two months now and is threatening the reputation of BP and of course the President himself with many claiming he hasn't been hard enough on the organisation.

BP has stated it will harness all its resources to help solve the crisis and plug the leak and was spending somewhere in the region of $7 million daily on trying to do just that. However, if we take into account that the companies daily profits for the first quarter of this year were in fact $61 million we see that this figure may not be as large as it seems in perspective.

So how much oil are we looking at spewing from the depths? Originally BP had put the estimate at 1,000 barrels a day but later failed to dispute the Government's claims of 5 times that much. However, an associate professor at Purdue University (after analyzing footage of the leak) has stated that he believes the daily total is now more akin to 56,000 to 84,000 barrels per day. This has been backed up by Professors at Florida University also. It has also become apparent that a second leak is now spewing a further 25,000 barrels daily, meaning that the total leakage could be somewhere in the region of 100,000 barrels. If so, then this is easily the greates environmental disaster in US history.

But surely this disaster couldn't have been foreseen? Maybe that is true, however, it is a lesser known fact that BP was responsible for 829 of 851 willful safety violations by oil companies between June 2007 and February 2010. Its clear a review of the regulatory process needs to take place.

Of course this all put pressure on the Obama administration to be seen as standing firm on the issue. If he takes to much of a responsibility for the clean upand it fails, the blame is on him. However, if he is seen as not doing enough then this is equally detrimental to his image. One thing is for sure, the crisis has been damaging for him but much more so for those citizens bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

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