Latest Issue

Oil well that ends well

Closing the BP oil leak was a tremendous feat of engineering

By Derek Brower   September 2010

The tactless remark made some weeks ago by former BP boss Tony Hayward that, given its size, the ocean would cope with the Gulf of Mexico oil slick, has turned out to be more or less correct. Predictions of devastation haven’t come true. Yes, the spill is the worst in the history of the US, in terms of the volume of oil that spewed into the sea. But no, the Gulf shoreline hasn’t turned into an oil-drenched mess of the kind we ignore in places like Nigeria. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has recorded fewer than 4,000 bird deaths…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect