Kevin Costner: Oil Skimmers Prevent Disasters

The actor Kevin Costner has been investing his own money as well as some he has raised from other investors in technology installed on skimmer barges to suck up oil from large spills before it can cause long-term environmental damage. The largest barge is 250 feet long and is said to have a capacity of skimming off one million gallons of oil and water in a single day. Technology on the barges separates spilled oil from salt water and then stores the oil onboard, while releasing the cleaned water back into the ocean. There is also a smaller forty-foot barge that can navigate in smaller spaces and shallow water like the ones found in marsh areas and it can remove thousands of gallons of oil per day from those ecologically sensitive habitats. A series of twenty-three barges have been outfitted as oil skimmers and ocean water cleaners.  This information may sound dated, however, his point now is that the technology has been proven, and yet has not been officially adopted or funded.

Mr. Costner says the oil companies should purchase the oil skimming fleet for rapid deployment to remove oil from the ocean before it ever gets to shorelines. He also said it may have been possible to collect up to ninety percent of the oil that reached the surface. Dispersants he noted, actually caused the oil to sink so it couldn’t be skimmed off. Maintaining a fleet of oil skimming barges could cost about fifty million dollars a year, and that investment should be shouldered by the oil companies as insurance against further environmental damage.

The cost of the Gulf oil disaster is in the billions, so fifty million is next to nothing compared to this enormous financial burdern – to say nothing of the environmental damage that can’t be calculated because the full extent is still unknown, and ongoing.

Scientist Kerry St. Pé, director of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, said Mr. Costner’s oil skimming technology does work, but not when waters are rough, and it isn’t always easy to find the oil slicks in large expanses of open water.

The first video shows Kevin Costner, and Placquemines Parish President Bill Nungesser talking about the skimming and oil/water separation technology to be deployed on the Chouest offshore supply vessel Ella G.

Image Credit: Noaa.gov

Related Links

Oil Found Deep in Gulf Waters
Dolphin Oiled by Spill Now Healthy

68 comments

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

Ending our dependency on oil will help even more, d.h. Costner!

Anja N.
A N.5 years ago

Thanks for caring Kevin!

Lika S.
Lika S.5 years ago

Awesome! I'm so glad we have people like Kevin Costner.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.5 years ago

thanks for telling the world

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

Good for Kevin Costner. It sounds like it would at least help some. The oil in oil spills is a commercial product with salvage value.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam5 years ago

way to go kevin, thanks for sharing.

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago

I hope they pick up on the idea nad start to deploy it. even if it dont work in rough water it will work some of the time which is better than not doing anything at all.

Paula B.
Paula B.5 years ago

So many wonderful things are being invented and only because there is no money to make in spreading or even using them they are being suppressed! The same goes on with new energy solutions. See for example the petition

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/stop-the-energy-suppression/

I mean, even in this case, with all the media behind Kevin, the opportunity to use an amazing new invention was not used effectively. How long do we want to wait before we speak up? What is all the money worth when our world is destroyed?

Deborah Latter
Deborah Latter5 years ago

Kudos to Mr. Costner for putting his money where his mouth is, which is often not the case with the Hollywood set. Keep up the good work and more power to you!

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.