Thursday, July 08, 2010

Thad Allen's Skimming Tutorial

National Incident Commander Thad Allen said several notable things in today's "skimming tutorial" at Theodore, Alabama. He mentioned a four to five week time frame to get things organized. Didn't the Deepwater Horizon sink on April 22? It's been eleven weeks. I take his words as confession that Admiral Allen and BP did not take skimming seriously for the first six or seven weeks.

Allen cited the overwhelming response from "Vessels of Opportunity" and how the variety of craft could be used for skimming. He compared them to Revolutionary War Minutemen, some showing up with a musket, others with a hatchet. Thad ignored the Colonies' cannon. Alaska has 120 skimmers capable of skimming 300,000 barrels of oil in 72 hours.

Weather should enable adding pumping capacity from the damaged well. The pattern has projected flow rates going up as processing capability is maxed out. Will that express again?

Most of the catastrophic spill has not been captured or burned. International offers of skimmers arrived in late April and early May. Allen did not say why they lingered under his watch.

While skimming needs grow by the day, Thad might have found a way to discredit the Supertanker solution.

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