Monday, July 26, 2010

The Elusive BP Oil Spill, Where are You?

Reports out of the Gulf of Mexico indicate that skimmers and charter boat captains CAN'T FIND THE OIL. Yes, you read it correctly. The British Petroleum spew of oil, so dramatically telecast to anyone who wanted to watch, went on for 86 days. Estimates of spillage kept spiraling upwards and were ultimately guessed at 200 million barrels. That's a lot of oil, but considering the USA consumes about 20 million barrels a day, the whole spill is 10 days worth of use.

As BP pointed out the Gulf oil is light sweet crude. Of itself, it is the type of oil that tends to disperse and dissipate quickly. This spill was quickly treated with dispersants and controlled burns. Both of these techniques appear to have further encouraged the diminishment of the impact of the spill. ABC reports that skimmers picked up 25,000 barrels of oily water just two weeks ago. In distinction, last Thursday, skimmers picked up only 200 barrels. Egads! Such a dramatic change is not going to help in the vilification of BP and the deep water drilling gang.

Thad Allen is a retired Coast Guard Admiral. The BO administration named him national Incident Commander for the federal government's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Although the Admiral retired June 1, he is staying on to see this business through. He made a name for himself in the country's response to Hurricane Katrina. Although he is not an oil man per se, his nautical and managerial skills made him the right person for the Obama team to turn to in this matter. In regards the current Gulf situation, Allen said, "It's an elusive bunch of oil for us to find."

Elusive? That oil must be on skates. Maybe it's below the surface, looking for wildlife? Maybe it only comes out at night? Perhaps night vision goggles would find it faster? The oil is probably waiting to terrorize those white, pristine panhandle beaches. Since this is tourist season, the oil might have decided to wait for a better time to come ashore. After all, the oil patch may have some understanding of the economies of tourism.

The east coast of Florida hasn't been hit yet. You never know. One good hurricane, one frisky loop current and bam, that oil will be hitting the Outer Banks. If it hits North Carolina, it could tarnish Atlantic City's beaches, too. After that Maine, Nova Scotia and even Iceland. It's only right if the current brings that slick, gooey mess to mother England. BRITISH Petroleum, serves 'em right.

Some naysayers think that BP has actually done a good job in its responses to date. It is clear that they have way more technology than the soon to be resting ret. Admiral Allen and his minions. The USCG and USN do not appear to have much to offer in stopping or controlling the leaking well. And so, all in the government, from BO to TA to Congress to most federalistas, have taken pot shots at and assigned blame to BP. All the while, the oil giant has, indeed, stopped the leak and is on the road to a permanent solution.

What if the oil doesn't do the damage hoped for by so many? What if the fishermen can still fish? What if the shrimpers can still shrimp? What if the beach users can still swim and sun up? OMG, maybe it will be like the swine flu, err...H1N1, a tempest in a teapot. Maybe the USA needs to whip things up in order to savor the moment? Maybe Americans like to be frightened?

Here's a thought, buy $BP. The stock is way undervalued. Wind 'em up, let "em go. Here's hoping that TA is right, the oil is so "elusive" that we never find it. So it goes.

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