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Kevin Costner’s oil centrifuges cost BP £10m

Kevin Costner is perhaps most recognised for his roles in Hollywood movies, but he is also known for developing a spill containment and collection device – a device on which BP has spent £10m in the past year.

When the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill occurred, the company did everything in their power to try to stop the spill, they even looked at many private and personal suggestions about how to clean up the spilled oil. It’s not surprising then that a suggestion by Mr Costner got to the front of the queue.

Mr Costner’s oil separating centrifuge devices failed their first field tests when tried out by BP, but the company still ploughed £10m into them in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

When Mr Costner appeared before Congress he said he’d spent £15m developing the devices, but the field test engineers were not so enthusiastic. Kurt Hansen from the US Coast Guard was part of the initial test team. He stated:

"It appeared to work in some conditions and did not appear to work in others.

"My impression from talking to people who have seen it is that it's not any different than any other separators out there on the market that do the same thing."

In all 21 of Mr Costner’s centrifuge systems were deployed at the spill site, with different degrees of success. Eric Hoek, a professor at UCLA, worked at a consultant at Costner’s company, he stated:

"There were days when the vessels collected oil and watery liquid and the centrifuge processed it,"

"There were days when the vessel pulled up but it was not processible, it was full of sticks, or peanut butter."

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