Oil in the Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico disaster has unfolded as being great oil disaster in American history. Although it seems that BP is approaching its final stage in the clean up there is still a lot more revival left. In an effort to better inform the public about the oil spill, BP has hired expert consultants to answer questions and clear any doubts about the methods used to clean the spill and there technology.

Two experts in particular that shared there expertise were Alan A. Allen and Edward Owens. Both experts have over 40 years experience each and combined share experience in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Alaska, and the United States.

Because of the complexity of the oil spill, a lot of misconceptions have risen about the methods to cleaning up the oil from the Gulf of Mexico. Among the various misconceptions, the actual quantity of oil still on the shore has been a concern. Combined there is still roughly 100 football fields of oil throughout the shorelines. The combined amount of oil is still a tremendous amount but compared to the initial spill not nearly as much. In fact, Edwards Owens has been quoted to say, “There’s maybe a couple of hundred barrels left on the coast which, considering the spill, is a very, very small number”.

It is a scientific fact that Oil and water do not mix. Actually, if you poor oil into a bowl of water, the oil will evenly rise on top of water creating almost a layer of oil above the water. Because of this known fact, many people have come to the agreement that if you let the oil simply rise to the top you can simply remove the layer of oil compared to skimming the sea through and through.  Unfortunately, Lewis has come out to state that the method which makes so much sense to many people is simply not true. In fact, the use of this method will only remove 10% of the oil at a time which has proven not to be very efficient. The method has become more of a risk than anything because of the effect it has on wildlife. On the backside of this theory, there has also been belief that there is a coat of oil sitting on the ocean floor. Such talk of oil being on the ocean floor is completely false considering the fact stated at the begining of the paragraph.

The “boom” has become a controversial topic because of the fact the method appears as the best solution so it becomes the public’s favorite. The problem is that the “boom” is actually not the best thing towards advancing, in reality its sets the clean up back because performing such a method disturbs the sea habitats more than any other method and can potentially endanger habits because of the public presence that is necessary to perform such a method.

Literally burning oil has been an alternative to removing oil from the beach shores as well as other strategies. Oil burning has gained bad famed because of the visuals you get when the act actually takes place. In essence what you see when this happens is a black smoke go up into the sky giving anyone the impression that the smoke is deliberately destroying the ozone. However, the experts have stated that the smoke is actually harmless. Furthermore, experts feel that a temporary visual blemish is worth sacrificing compared to potentially long term stains across the beaches.

A recent misconception has also risen about the dispersants used in the Oil Spill. The major controversy is the fact that desoersant has been banned in the UK so many people find it a large liability to experiment with that product in the Gulf of Mexico. In response, Lewis states that the product was never banned in the UK. Either way, very few products similar to dispersants are rarely used on the shore and are designed mostly for the open sea. As far as its use in the Gulf of Mexico, BP will use product only in the open ocean in order to avoid any potential risk.

Further ventures into the topic of dispersants have led the public believe that the product was a potential risk to sea life. This questionable product was quickly clarified with Mr. Allen stated that the product is actually the equivalent of organic shampoo. In fact, Allen himself has been covered with dispersants without any effects.

At the end of the day, even after the oil clean up concludes and everyone leaves site, there will be oil that floats out into the open sea. In regards to such a topic, experts have assured the public that the chances of oil floating out to the open seas is actually  a positive scenario because oil will be broken down due to particles and different bacteria in the ocean

Among these many misconceptions, the most topical has been the actual methods used to stop the oil from leaking. Many people to the day believe that BP is inventing methods as they proceed in there efforts. The actuality is the experts have used all there methods before which means that all these methods have worked in the past. However, like anything else, if a tactic does not provide sufficient results they need to change there methods.

This oil spill in particular should be handled as a unique oil spill because of the fact that this Oil spill is actually happening now so everything must be done until positive results are evident. The advantage of experience for the active engineers is that they know how the environment will react to the disaster and will feasibly know how to maintain the spill to reduce further devastation.