News / Middle East

    Saudi Arabia May Have Answer to Gulf Of Mexico Oil Leak

    As the oil continues to leak from the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, hundreds of boats are working in the area around the spill trying to keep the noxious slick from reaching shore. Frustrated citizens in the Gulf region have been calling for more effective measures and one expert believes a better solution could be provided by the oil-rich nation of Saudi Arabia, which he says contained a similar oil leak in the Persian Gulf in 1993 using supertankers.

    The United States should ask the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a supertanker or two to clean up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Nick Pozzi, a former pipeline engineering and operations manager for Saudi Aramco. He says he helped that state-run company deal with a similar disaster in 1993.

    Pozzi says an accident caused millions of liters of crude oil to spill into the Persian Gulf.  He was on the team that developed a plan to remove the crude using Saudi-owned supertankers.

    "The supertankers in Arabia have the ability to suck or discharge, so they can pump or suck," he said. "What we could [what amounts of oil we could extract] we ran through a centrifuge to separate the oil from the water. We put the water back in the Gulf, because we wanted to get the oil out first, get it out of the water."

    Pozzi says the operation cleaned up 85 percent of the total oil spilled.  His idea to use supertankers in the Gulf of Mexico has been endorsed by a number of prominent figures in the oil-and-gas industry, most notably John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil, who has urged the Obama administration to pursue it.

    BP officials cite logistical problems with the proposal since it would be difficult to maneuver such a large ship into the area near the leaking deepwater well site, but Pozzi says there are ways of working around that. The other problem is the Jones Act, a part of U.S. maritime law that prevents foreign vessels from working in U.S. waters, but the president has the power to waive that law in the case of an emergency.

    Another problem is that the Saudi operation in 1993 involved a spill that was limited once the source of the leak had been plugged, whereas the BP well is leaking vast quantities of oil every day and the best hope of stopping it could be months away, in the form of relief wells that are to be drilled nearby.

    Nick Pozzi is skeptical about the relief well plan, because he says the flow of oil is so strong.

    He says the pressure of the outflow at the well head is so great that BP engineers have not been able to overcome it.  Pozzi says he and other experts have examined video from the site to calculate the pressure.

    Among the more exotic proposals to stop the leak is the use of explosives, including nuclear bombs. The Russians reportedly have used small nuclear devices to cap runaway wells at least four times. But Nick Pozzi says he does not believe such a measure would work at the BP site because the pressure of the outflow would prevent the proper placement of the explosives in the opening.

    Nick Pozzi has launched a private company called WOW Energy Solutions and is working with people along the Gulf coast in Alabama to prevent oil slick damage to their beaches and fisheries.  He says if either the US government or BP calls him, he is ready to do what he can to help them contain the catastrophic oil spill.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.