BP ends Vessels of Opportunity program


MOBILE, Ala. – The Mobile Incident Command Post for BP PLC announced Wednesday it is ending the Vessels of Opportunity program in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, spokesman Justin Saia said today.

According to BP spokeswoman Dawn Patience, at the peak of the cleanup operation in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, more than 1,500 boats worked the waters off Alabama. Saia said the boats were used for a number of functions, including oil recovery, supply transportation, wildlife rescue and boom deployment and recovery.

As many as 4,000 boat owners had applied through the Mobile response center to work.

Saia said more than 3,500 vessels were put to work during the life of the program, and more than $500 million was spent on the VOO program in the three-state coastal area.

Of that money, Saia said $120 million was spent on boats operating off the Alabama coast.

“The skills, knowledge and input from local participants played a major role in the overall cleanup and success of the program,” Saia said.

He added that individual BP branch offices will continue to look to local boats as the need arises in the future. He said branch directors will have the authority to hire boat crews and negotiate contracts.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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