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June 21, 2010

BP Captures 23,290 Barrels and Plans to Increase to 53,000 Barrels within Ten Day and Up to 80,000 Barrels by Mid-July

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Its containment cap system, installed on June 3, collected 14,570 barrels on Sunday, BP said. A second system, started up on June 16, burned off 8,720 barrels on Sunday, BP said. The systems have a total capacity of 28,000 barrels a day, according to BP.

BP aims to add another oil-capture system by the end of June to increase overall capacity to up to 53,000 barrels a day, and then make further changes to boost capacity to up to 80,000 barrels a day by mid-July, according to the company's latest plan submitted to the Coast Guard. The U.S. government estimates that up to 60,000 barrels of oil are gushing from the ruptured well per day.


Some hindsight from the Washington Examiner about how BP and President Obama could have gotten ahead of the problem at least in terms of public relations.

Imagine if President Obama, in the first days after the spill, had established a command center in the Gulf, complete with Rahm Emanuel in charge. Like him or hate him, if he's good enough to run the White House, why not put your top guy in charge of your biggest disaster? Pull out all the big shots. Set up the Gulf White House. Daily briefings by Rahm. The president wouldn't need to talk about "kicking ass" on television if Rahm were doing it every day.

In the first days after the spill, BP did not take responsibility. They ran TV ads, which is altogether different. They downplayed the severity of the spill and became instantly unreliable. They sought to protect shareholder profits and were seen as being slow to put money on the table and as nickel and diming people who were suffering. All bad.

Imagine if they had immediately called up Kenneth Feinberg, who has justifiably earned the reputation as disaster's go-to guy when it comes to fairly arranging compensation. Say they had put $10 billion in escrow and had given him the authority to start, right then, handing it out. It would have seemed like an amazing gesture. They could have said (to calm their screaming lawyers) that they were very hopeful that costs wouldn't reach nearly that much, but they wanted people to know they were putting their money where their mouths were.

Instead, they've now put twice that on the table, and nobody gives them an ounce of credit. As in relationships, timing is everything.


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