Oil Spill: Very Profitable

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Researching oil disasters I found out that BP has had problems in the past. For those who are not aware, BP had 15 people die and over 170 people injured in a refinery accident in Texas back in 2007. The company has also dealt with fallout from leaks in its pipeline in Alaska.

When it comes to the clean up, BP refuses to take full responsibility. They insisted others should be held accountable with them, which includes the rig operator, Trans-Ocean Ltd. and partner in the project Anadarko. Trans-Ocean carries millions in liability coverage before deductibles and insurance should cover the loss of the Deep-Water Horizon. But I am still trying to find information on BP insurances coverage .It seem to me they seem panicked by asking the courts to make the partners insurance providers cover their share too.

What I am not sure about is how the liability act that was passed in 1990 under the Oil Pollution Act will effect the clean up and lawsuits because under the Act, it is limited to 75 million. But the 1990 statute that was passed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill does requires companies to restore the land or provide some equivalent resource to offset the loss. With the oil spill liability trust fund that has been financed through import oil fees which pays damages up to a limit of 1 billion. I wonder exactly what out of pocket costs; if any will they be made to pay. We should be lucky to know in about 20 years while they will most likely be able to keep drilling.

Obama is not the only one who has decided to only block off shore drilling for six months. Canada has followed suit. Any politician who has stakes in oil revenue will never vote for a permanent ban on offshore drilling. The fact that mineral royalties are a major source of federal revenue it would not surprise me if they opt to start drilling again as soon as possible. They will blame it on supply and demand. The truth is they need the revenue. Because they need this revenue, those concerned do what they can to create cover-ups or place gag orders to keep us from knowing what is really going on. We seem to find out only after a disaster what actually takes place. Usually after people and wildlife die and it heads to court.

 

Lets look at the oil sands in Alberta Canada. Alberta’s tar sands are second only to Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil reserve. Suncor Energy develops and produces oil and natural gas in Canada, Colorado, some offshore drilling and international countries. They too have had their fair share of trouble in the past, yet are still fully operational and working to expand the environment hazard tar sands by 2020.

The enormous toxic problems impending destruction of a boreal forest the size of Florida is only part of the problems now surfacing after the Syncrude disaster back in April 2008. Syncrude being the project manager for Suncor. The fact that this devastating incident wasn’t reported by Syncrude makes me ask the question of how many other incidents have been covered up to safeguard repercussions and reputation.

Syncrude utilizes something called the Clark hot water process, where they crush bitumen-containing oil, mix it with heated water and use that to separate the bitumen out of the ore. The leftover water is dumped in the tailing ponds. The water is so toxic because it contains watered down oil and gasoline everything dies around these ponds. The sludge is as thick as fudge and any birds that happen to land on these ponds die. This is what happened back in 2008 when 1,600 ducks died as they claimed the bird-deterrent noise cannons were down due to a snowstorm. (I am wondering why these cannons were not at least attempted in the gulf to help cut down on the birds landing in the area.)

During court proceedings that followed the 2008 incident, it was claimed days before the cannons supposedly went down an employee enquired as to what to do with the 800 birds that were in the company freezers. They still claim they are not guilty of anything.

Toxic pollution from these tar sands have created equivalents to a slow oil spill in the river systems causing fish to turn up with deformities. Wildlife in the area is reported to be covered in tumors and unusual cancers and autoimmune diseases have been cropping up in the communities in the area. They still have not been held accountable for any of it.

Suncor was even fined $675,000 for not installing pollution control equipment and back in 2006 they were fined $175,000 for dumping untreated wastewater in to the Athabasca River. These are just a few of the incidents that have surfaced.

Instead of being held accountable, they received an award and hold a title of the first oil-sands producer to earn a land reclamation certificate from the Alberta government for replenishing the land after it was stripped away.

Now with the BP disaster and off shore drilling on hold, governments around the world will be in talks with the prime minister of Canada, Mr. Harper, on investing in the Alberta oil sands and buy products Suncor produces. Taking advantage of one disaster to just fund another. All in the name of supply and demand.

Before I forget, call up your stock brokers and buy stocks now, wall street brokers are estimating that after all this blows over, those cheap falling stocks will double down the road. Lets all jump on that bandwagon. NOT!!!

K. Waters

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