While human activists protest the fossil fuel industry on land, some underwater residents are taking matters into their own fins. In early February, BP had to reduce exports of Angolan Plutonio crude oil after an Atlantic blue marlin impaled a hose at its floating production and storage facility. The 14-foot fish did enough damage to cost the company $100 million in revenue, keeping 900,000 barrels of oil from reaching the market.
The marlin’s mayhem forced BP to issue a 5-day “force majeure,” or legal declaration of interrupted flow due to circumstances beyond their control. The company already had plans to shut down the Greater Plutonio project in March for four weeks of maintenance, but it seems as though Mother Nature decided to take control of the schedule. The International Energy Agency expects that repairs should bring the facility back to producing its average volume of 180,000 barrels soon, but no exports are scheduled for this month.
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Luckily, the aquatic attack did not result in a spill. Sadly, biologists fear the worst for the marlin, who left behind its bill lodged in a section of the 24-inch diameter hose. The latest “strike” on the Plutonio follows a 2009 incident where a school of swordfish were witnessed puncturing hoses leading to oil tankers. After the immense damage that the BP Deepwater Horizon spill caused to wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, including inducing cardiac arrests in marlin and other species of fish, it’s only fair that the oil giant get a small taste of its own medicine.
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Images via BP and Wikicommons user dominic sherony