BP is warning of another potential disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, six days after an oil rig sank 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. This time the danger comes from Atlantic Ocean water that could leak into the Gulf, contaminating one of the United States’ major oil reserves.
“The ocean contains a lot of material we don’t want polluting our pristine sea of oil,” said BP spokesman Ollie Sheen.
“Unfiltered seawater contains marine life and plants, as well as litter and toxic chemicals — all of which could damage expensive refinery equipment.”
Taking refineries off line to repair water damage could cause gas prices to rise this summer, Sheen added, “at least that’s what we would tell the public.”
But Sheen stressed there were environmental concerns as well. “Keeping water from getting into the oil is important for public relations reasons, especially since this is Earth Month,” he said.
Sheen said BP’s plan to prevent disaster involves working with the Coast Guard to set fire to a small amount of oil.
“The burning oil will evaporate the water,” Sheen explained.
Rear Admiral Roger MacAnally of the 8th Coast Guard district invited the public and media to a celebratory dinner that will be held after the end of the burn operation. Braised and roasted marine birds will be served.