Oil Spill Commission releases two new draft staff working papers

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

"STOPPING THE SPILL: THE FIVE-MONTH EFFORT TO KILL THE MACONDO WELL" is a preliminary assessment of the effort to contain and stop the flow of oil from the Macondo well following the blowout on April 20, 2010. In the words of the first working paper:

"The containment story ... contains two parallel threads. First, on April 20, the oil and gas industry was unprepared to respond to a deepwater blowout, and the federal government was similarly unprepared to provide meaningful supervision. Second, in a compressed timeframe, BP was able to design, build, and use new containment technologies, while the federal government was able to develop effective oversight capacity. Those impressive efforts, however, were made necessary by the failure to anticipate a subsea blowout in the first place."

"RESPONSE/CLEAN-UP TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT AND THE BP DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL" presents a preliminary assessment of clean-up technology research and development at the time of the BP Deepwater Horizon rig blowout and how any "clean-up technology gap" might be narrowed in the future. Quoting from the paper:

"We believe the facts illustrate that neither industry nor government has dedicated appropriate resources to clean-up technology since the Exxon Valdez spill, and that the Deepwater Horizon spill response suffered as a result. With the proper combination of dedicated funding and creative incentives, however, Commission staff believes that the existing technology gap could begin to close."

Both draft staff working papers are viewable at www.oilspillcommission.gov.

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