Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Water World star Kevin Costner, who has spent years and millions of dollars perfecting a device that cleans oil from seawater
Kevin Costner Has A Solution To The Oil Spill Clean Up
Kevin Costner is donating a $24 million centrifuge machine to help clean up oil-contaminated water.
After asking for ideas from anyone to solve the Deepwater Horizon oil leak, the petroleum giant has given the go-ahead to begin using a centrifuge machine bankrolled by Kevin Costner, the star of such Hollywood hits as Field of Dreams, Bull Durham and Water World.
According to a WWLTV report out of Louisiana, Costner invested $24 million in the project after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
The machines, manufactured by Ocean Therapy Solutions, act as a centrifuge, separating the oil from water. The centrifuge makers claim the device can separate 97 percent of the oil from water at a rate of 200 gallons per minute, and that 31 of the devices have already been built.
Could there be a happy Hollywood ending to the Gulf oil spill?
Enter "Waterworld" star Kevin Costner, who has spent years and millions of dollars perfecting a device that cleans oil from seawater.
British Petroleum - desperate for ideas - gave the okay to test six of Costner's gizmos this week, said BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles.
Costner's high-speed centrifuge machine has a Los Angeles-perfect name: "Ocean Therapy."
Placed on a barge, it sucks in large quantities of polluted water, separates out the oil and spits back 97% clean water.
"It's like a big vacuum cleaner," said Costner's business partner, Louisiana trial lawyer John Houghtaling.
"The machines are basically sophisticated centrifuge devices that can handle a huge volume of water," he said.
The "Field of Dreams" star first got a team together to create the device in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.
His scientist brother, Dan Costner, helped develop the device, and together, the brothers formed Costner Industries Nevada Corp. to pursue various energy projects, including a non-chemical battery that could last 15 years.
The 55-year-old actor eventually sank $26 million into the Ocean Therapy oil separator project. He obtained a license for the device from the Department of Energy in 1993 and has been trying for years to promote it.
In 2007, he told London's Daily Mail that he had blown millions on "technologies I thought would help the world" and had nothing to show for it.
"I've lost $40 million-plus," he said. "But I knew that if I was right, it would change things in an incredibly positive way."
Last week, he was in Louisiana seeking redemption, demonstrating his Ocean Therapy contraption.
"I'm just really happy that the light of day has come to this," Costner said.
Though reporters largely greeted his ideas with snickers, BP apparently wasn't laughing.
At least 210,000 gallons of oil per day is gushing into the sea from the ocean floor where the BP rig exploded April 20. The oil company has tried several novel solutions, but none has worked so far to plug the leak.
The company is skimming the oil, spraying it with dispersant chemicals underwater and trying to burn it on the surface.
Nineteen percent of the Gulf's lucrative fisheries are closed, billions of beach tourist dollars are at stake and dozens of seagoing species are threatened.
Costner has 300 of his Ocean Therapy machines in various sizes. The largest, at 21/2 tons, is able to clean water at a rate of 200 gallons a minute - faster than the well is leaking, Houghtaling noted.
(Thats 288 thousand gallons of clean water a day. The oil leak is gushing 210,000 \gallons a day. This is just one of his machines. Costner has 300 of various size machines. BP and the government would be crazy not to use these machines if they only do 50% of what Costner claims. Obama is too stupid to use something like this. It will be up to BP I hope to give it a try.) Story Reports
Meanwhile, the 50 or so tar balls that washed up this week in the Florida Keys are not from the BP spill, the Coast Guard announced, temporarily calming tourism jitters.
"The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time," the Coast Guard said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a tendril of oil from the slick entered the Loop Current that leads to the Gulf Stream yesterday, prompting fresh fears for Florida's tourist industry.
A counterclockwise eddy in the Loop Current that might keep the oil contained - at least for now - has been observed, NOAA said.
NOAA set up a "virtual Incident Command Center" in St. Petersburg, Fla., just in case.