News / Middle East

Saudi Arabia May Have Answer to Gulf Of Mexico Oil Leak

Greg Flakus

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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid