Daily Archives: July 22, 2010

Matt Simmons, who described BP’s operation to cap its leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico as the “biggest environmental cover-up ever”, is not the only one circulating alarming ideas about the spill.

The drama of the Deepwater Horizon disaster has captivated many, and the mix of methane gas in the oil leak has made perfect fodder for doomsday theories and rumours. Some of these have turned out to be true, such as the contention that the actual size of the leak was much greater than BP and the US authorities were at first admitting. Others, we can now safely say, were simply implausible. Most of them involved methane gas and extinction in the same sentence.

Here’s a sample of the most far-fetched ones:

Sheila McNulty

When the world’s biggest oil companies announced they had come up with a solution to the biggest gap in responding to another accident like BP’s in the Gulf – a way to contain a spill in the deep water – the reaction was generally positive. Several analysts said this was just what the industry had been lacking.

Oliver Stone’s new documentary, South of the Border, features new and emerging South American leaders from 7 countries that have nationalised their natural resources and “given them back to the people”. These leaders, in Stone’s portrayal, are champions of the poor and their rights having raised people out of poverty and improving living standards by using natural resources based income for pro-poor reforms.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme on Wednesday morning, Stone rejected the criticism that his documentary is “unrelenting positive” of Chavez who has a record of political intimidation domestically and maintains friendly relationships with some of the most oppressive regimes in the world including the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Libyan leader Colonel Muammer Gaddafi.

Matthew Simmons, founder of the Ocean Energy Institute and former energy advisor to President George W Bush, spoke with Bloomberg TV  yesterday. Mr Simmons said that while the leak has been stopped from coming out of the riser, danger awaits five to ten miles away, where there is a more important leak caused by the explosion of the blow-out preventer. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.

- Gap plugged in nuclear fusion project

- Agencies differ on oil sands pipeline

- Shale deposits could bring $200bn for mid-Atlantic

- Ethanol or not to ethanol, that is the question

- Storm threat stalls BP relief well - Upstream

- 4 oil firms commit $1bn for Gulf rapid-response plan - NY Times

- Energy firms step up lobbying efforts – WSJ

- ONGC in BP talks over Vietnam assets - FT

- BP defends CEO, eyes new option for plugging well - Reuters

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