BP has shifted into DEFCON 4 as oil keeps pouring into the Gulf of Mexico and turmoil keeps pouring onto BP.
First, the oil. According to Reuters:
BP said on Thursday it was siphoning 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons/795,000 litres) per day of oil from the gusher, from 3,000 barrels a day previously.
“The oil plume escaping from the riser pipe has visibly declined today,” BP spokesman Mark Proegler said after the company announced that a mile-long (1.6 km) tube was tapping into the larger of two leaks from the well.
However, a live video feed of the leak, provided by BP (BP.L), showed a black plume of crude oil still billowing out into the deep waters.
BP has been estimating the leak was flowing at a rate of 5,000 barrels per day, but scientists and the government have questioned that figure.
Scientists analyzing video of the oil gushing from the seabed have pegged the spill’s volume at about 70,000 barrels (2.9 million gallons/11 million liters) per day.
So that’s not going so well.
Now, to the PR effort:
After umpteen days of Deepwater Horizon hemorrhaging umpteen barrels of oil, BP has finally launched an environmental-damage control campaign, starting with a lame video featuring BP chief Tony Hayward (via Wall Street Journal MarketWatch).
Then there’s BP’s boilerplate dedicated website, along with national newspaper ads and the Spin Spin Spin Tour by BP execs claiming they don’t know why the blowout happened.
Maybe they should check out last Sunday’s CBS 60 Minutes segment, which clearly explained why it did.
In short: BP screwed up.
On the horizon for BP? Deep water.