Besieged Petroleum

Okay, if “top kill” doesn’t work, and apparently it doesn’t, how about some good old-fashioned incentivizing?

Offer a bounty for each barrel of oil recovered. With the amount of oil being spilled, it should be easy to scoop up some fraction of it. Each barrel recovered is that much less environmental damage and that much less clean up required. Also, it might be possible to separate out the water from the recovered oil and use the resulting oil as oil.

We would need some place to receive the collected oil. Possibly a tanker on site along with a floating dock, pumps and lines to transfer the collected oil from the collector to the tanker. And then we would need a method to separate the oil from the water.

And the price tag?

I think a thousand dollars a barrel would probably pull every boat within a hundred miles of the Gulf Coast into this operation. A dollar a barrel? Well, maybe a couple of guys in a Greenpeace skiff. Somewhere in between there I think we could get measurable results for less than the national defense budget.

Assuming somewhere around a million barrels are running around loose in the Gulf, retrieval of half of it at $1000 a barrel would run $500 million. At the moment, that looks like chump change.



  1. diamond dave »

    31 May 2010 · 11:14 am

    The only ones that are going to profit out of this are the lawyers. They don’t have to worry about fixing the problem, only fixing the blame. After all, didn’t Vito Corleone once say that a lawyer can steal more with his briefcase than a thousand men with guns?

  2. CGHill »

    31 May 2010 · 11:20 am

    Oh, easily. Half of them suing the other half, and both halves collecting fees. Positively divine, in some Dantean sense.

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