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Despite plan, not a single fire boom on hand on Gulf Coast at time of oil spill

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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-03-10 10:23 PM
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Despite plan, not a single fire boom on hand on Gulf Coast at time of oil spill
Source: AL.com (Mobile Press Register)

If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land. The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand. In order to conduct a successful test burn eight days after the Deepwater Horizon well began releasing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf, officials had to purchase one from a company in Illinois.

When federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine shipped the only boom it had in stock, Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec, said today. At federal officials' behest, the company began calling customers in other countries and asking if the U.S. government could borrow their fire booms for a few days, he said.

A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour, Bohleber said. That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore. "They said this was the tool of last resort. No, this is absolutely the asset of first use. Get in there and start burning oil before the spill gets out of hand," Bohleber said. "If they had six or seven of these systems in place when this happened and got out there and started burning, it would have significantly lessened the amount of oil that got loose."

In the days after the rig sank, U.S Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said the government had all the assets it needed. She did not discuss why officials waited more than a week to conduct a test burn. At the time, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oil spill response coordinator Ron Gouguet -- who helped craft the 1994 plan -- told the Press-Register that officials had pre-approval for burning. "The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away."

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Read more: http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/fire_boom_oil_spill_raines.html
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-03-10 10:28 PM
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1. Heads should roll for this. I mean literally. n/t
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-04-10 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. ^5
:thumbsup:
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Mopar151 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-04-10 02:05 AM
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3. No wonder Halliburton almost folded...
Utter incompetence on their part to not have this sort of thing lined up and ready to go, on a retainer paid by the oil companies.
If oilfield service is their business, why aren't they ready to do business?
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