Apart from obvious biological costs of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, there were heavy indirect costs associated with the spill which most economists will likely never be able to calculate accurately. These intangible costs include the heavy blow dealt on the Gulf’s tourism sector that year.
The mere cleanup costs of similar spills have been monumental:
Note: These figures are projections based on the estimated average cost of cleaning up a single barrel of oil in today’s dollars. They do NOT include the cost to other industries, countries, outstanding damages to private property or the value of lost oil. In the case of Mexico in its 1979 Ixtoc I spill, these three external estimated costs totaled an astonishing $872 million.
Unsurprisingly, British Petroleum estimates that over 30 percent of medium-term oil production will be offshore oil, hence risk management strategies are not only a foremost ethical parameter but a rational metric for increasing a company’s profitability. Bearing this end in mind, the University of Houston and Texas A&M at Corpus Christi are forming the Subsea Systems Institute and Texas OneGulf, and will enjoy close collaboration with NASA, Rice University, ExxonMobil, Halliburton and Sclumberger among others. The two research organizations — aided by the private sector — will pioneer deep-sea drilling technologies designed to protect the environment and private enterprises through safer and more cost-effective deep-sea drilling practices.
Our vision is to create an institute that is recognized around the world as the undisputed leader in transformative deepwater technology… We will create, test, and provide the technologies that industry will need in the next five to 10 years.
– Ramanan Krishnomoorti, Chief Energy Officer and Interim Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer at the University of Houston