Kevin Costner oil spill machines
Kevin Costner and his girl Anne regarding Gulf shore last June. Photo: Sean Gardner/Reuters
BP spent $16m (£10m) on an oil spill clean-up device pitched by star Kevin Costner on height of last year's Gulf of Mexico tragedy – although the machines failed their particular preliminary area tests.
In the week associated with the one-year anniversary of the capping for the well, it's emerged that oil organization offered main priority to testing the products – in front of the 123, 000 various other recommendations from the general public for plugging the well and scooping up more the millions of gallons of crude from deep-water, marshes and beaches.
However, technical specialists in cost of sifting through those community tips stated Costner's oil-water separator did not show particular guarantee.
The product, a centrifuge made to spin contaminated water through a cylinder to separate the oil, became gummed up because of the dense, heavily weathered crude that has been a determining function for the BP spill. It had been additionally maybe not a really brand new technology, experts stated.
In a look before Congress in June a year ago, Costner said he previously spent some $24m (£15m) building the devices since buying a patent through the Department of Energy during the early 1990s.
He also informed Congress that their products would have been capable clean up 90per cent of the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez tanker within just per week.
"It appeared to work in some problems and didn't seem to work in others, " said Kurt Hansen, a technical specialist from United States Coast Guard's research and development centre, who was simply the main test staff. "My impression from talking to those who have seen it's it's no actual diverse from other separators around in the marketplace that exactly the same thing."
Ellen Faurot-Daniels, a specialist from California's workplace of Spill protection and Response, came to the same conclusion. "their oil-water separator didn't work very well on this oil. It was pretty waxy and plenty of oil-water separators had a lot of difficulty coping with it, " she stated. "But he had been because of the opportunity to go-back and increase the separator therefore it would do a better job."
But it really is extensively recognized among the list of boffins and technical specialists just who worked desperately last summer to connect the well and clean up the oil spewing into the Gulf that Costner moved right to the top associated with line when it found get a hearing from BP.
"he had been on TV. He had been telegenic, and there were large numbers of income becoming invested, " stated one government scientist.
There is absolutely no sign that inclination proven to Costner straight impeded the development of another technology.
BP has been unwilling to revisit just last year's workout in crowd sourcing "given the timing [one 12 months after the fine was capped]", a spokesman, Daren Beaudo, said in an email.