What part of it is the government liability because they obstructed all the normal actions that would control the well and prevent BP from re-entering the well to execute normal blowout control procedures?A drop of oil in a bath tub full of water.
NEW ORLEANS (AP)— For weeks after BP's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, people across the globe were captivated by a live video feed from underwater cameras that showed the company's blown-out well belching plumes of black crude into the water.
On Monday, more than three years later, clips from the spill cam were projected on a screen in a New Orleans courtroom while lawyers for BP and the federal government quarreled over how much oil gushed out of BP's Macondo well during the 87-day crisis. The images helped some of the scientists calculate how much oil polluted the Gulf.
Determining how much oil spilled is a multibillion-dollar question for U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who is presiding over the trial involving the deadly Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and the nation's worst offshore oil spill. The judge ultimately could decide how much more money BP owes for its role in the disaster.
Government experts estimate 4.2 million barrels, or 176 million gallons, spilled into the Gulf. BP has urged Barbier to use an estimate of 2.45 million barrels, or nearly 103 million gallons, in calculating any Clean Water Act penalties. Both sides agree that 810,000 barrels, or 34 million gallons, escaped the well but were captured before the crude could pollute the Gulf.
Under the Clean Water Act, a polluter can be forced to pay a maximum of either $1,100 or $4,300 per barrel of spilled oil. The higher maximum applies if the company is found grossly negligent, as the government argues BP should be. But penalties can be assessed at amounts lower than those caps.
Using the government's figures, a maximum penalty if the company is found grossly negligent could total $18 billion. Using the company's figures, that maximum penalty would be around $10.5 billion.
That well should have been controlled in three weeks or less. My estimate was two weeks. Some of my fellow experts have said as little as 10 days, and others say as long as 3 weeks. I have not heard any well control expert give any estimate of longer than 3 weeks.
Why did the government not allow the normal well control procedures to be executed?
Is this related to Obama waiting until the oil to cover some beach, which never happened, so he could do a photo op, and the entire country got tired of Obama waiting for his photo op opportunity and had to rush down to the scene to make it look like he was actually involved?