BP to Build five Oil Rigs in the Mediterranean – Risk of Disaster Looms

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

BP, the company responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, for the sum of US$ 900 million, received the right from the Libyan government to commence deep-water drilling for exploring potential oil reserves in the Gulf of Sirte off the Libyan coast.

The off-shore operations will be conducted at 1700 meters, 200 meters deeper than in the Gulf of Mexico.

Should an accidental oil spill occur here, within one month its impact would irreparably devastate the ecological and environmental balance in the Mediterranean.

The people of Europe and especially of the Mediterranean region, must call upon the EU and the UN to undertake actions to stop this BP project and prevent a new environmental and humanitarian disaster from occurring in the Mediterranean.

BP, however, denies that this would be the case, claiming that the company will apply the lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico accident and that studies are under way to identify effective systems for capping possible leaks.

We all know that the Gulf of Mexico incident would never have happened had a second blow-out preventer been fitted, as it should have been. But, in order to bring the well on stream quickly – showing how desperate the situation for oil in the world is becoming – this second preventer was not fitted, as it would have meant to wait several months before the well could have gone on line.

BP's assurance can certainly reassure no one because all sorts of accidents can occur and leaks at that depth cannot be capped within a reasonable time.

Russia, for example, had to use atomic explosions to cap oil plumes at much lesser depths. Not even those attempts would be sufficient in the event of an accident in the Gulf of Sirte.

And nuclear explosions under water are not a good idea either and should not be used, alone for reasons of radioactive contamination, well aside from the fact what such an explosion does to the sea floor and the wildlife of the oceans.

The problem is not with BP nor is it with Libya. The fact is that the Mediterranean has no borders, and when accidents occur, whether in national or international waters, the repercussions are felt throughout the basin.

Since we are talking about one of the world’s seas with the highest levels of oil pollution already, the consequences of such a disaster could be irreversible and could have an impact of the entire coastline, from Spain to Turkey, to Palestine and everywhere else in the region.

Economic interests need to be put aside; this irresponsible project must be stopped before it causes an ecological and health disaster of unimaginable proportions.

According to some computer models, within 30 days, an oil leak, even if ultimately contained by capping, would inevitably damage the natural biological cycles in many coastal areas, making even human life impossible.

The rush to open all those possible wells in the deep oceans, including the Falkland Islands, is proof enough that the oil companies are running scared as to the oil running out.

Why else does anyone think BP renamed and re-branded itself from British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum?

© 2010

To learn more about Peak Oil and what a society post Oil Age might look like get and read the book “The End of Oil”. You can obtain the book via http://the-end-of-oil.blogspot.com/