May 13, 2010 at 6:46AM by Mark Warren
There’s a potential solution to the Gulf oil spill that neither BP, nor the federal government, nor anyone — save a couple intuitive engineers — seems willing to try. As The Politics Blog reported on Tuesday in an interview with former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister, the untapped solution involves using empty supertankers to suck the spill off the surface, treat and discharge the contaminated water, and either salvage or destroy the slick.
… The suck-and-salvage technique was developed in desperation across the Arabian Gulf following a spill of mammoth proportions — 700 million gallons — that has until now gone unreported, as Saudi Arabia is a closed society, and its oil company, Saudi Aramco, remains owned by the House of Saud. But in 1993 and into ’94, with four leaking tankers and two gushing wells, the royal family had an environmental disaster nearly sixty-five times the size of Exxon Valdez on its hands, and it desperately needed a solution. …
UPDATE (June 4): Nearly 50 Supertankers Are Waiting for BP (and On the Cheap)
UPDATE (June 1): BP Executives Skirt Around Supertanker Questions
UPDATE (May 26): The Pragmatic Oil Spill Fix That BP’s Still Waiting On
UPDATE (May 24): Sources Say BP Looking Beyond ‘Top Kill’ with Supertanker Fix
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