BP is expecting to settle claims for damages in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico blowout with a cash pot of $7.8 billion US to compensate over 100 000 people for their economic losses, property damages and health impairment. If the claimants settle for what the oil company wishes to settle on them that will be the end of their claims. If not, then they will have to take the corporation to court.
BP will still have to settle damage claims from the US federal government, affected states and Transocean for damage to their drilling platform.
When the BP operation suffered a blowout and a fire, 11 men were killed on the rig.
There are still many questions about the long term damage to the Gulf from the more than 4 billion barrels of crude oil that they know escaped into the water. The use of dispersants has many wondered about the short and long term safety of the chemicals. The long term health implications for those who were exposed to the evaporating fumes from the slicks are not known. The health of the Gulf itself is not well documented.
“Some of the things I've seen over the past year or so I've never seen before," said Will Patterson, a marine biologist at the University of South Alabama and at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. "Things like fin rot, large open sores on fish, those were some of the more disturbing types of things we saw. Different changes in pigment, red snapper with large black streaks on them."Associated Press
While many miles of the Gulf shoreline is still oiled two years later, the initial repugnance about deep water drilling seems to have faded in the American public’s mind. Drilling is going on as usual and the rate of drilling is increasing.
“There are now 40 rigs operating in the Gulf today compared with 25 a year ago. BP itself has five of those rigs, the same number it had before the accident. It plans to have a total of eight in the Gulf by next year.”Al Jazeera
The public’s appetite for petroleum products and the corporations’ desire for profits by drilling in ever more precarious venues may well haunt the ecosystem for years to come.
Currently people in Canada are being pitted against their federal government in their opposition to the construction of crude oil pipelines to the BC coast. The prospect of hundreds of supertankers on the treacherous coast has many firming up their resistance.