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Gulf of Mexico: Kostners oil separator

BP has placed an order to purchase machines to separate spilled oil and Gulf of Mexico water from Ocean Therapy Solutions, a company backed by actor and environmentalist Kevin Costner, according to reports.

Ocean Therapy Solutions has been testing the centrifugal oil-water separator but has not yet received payment from BP, which is under growing pressure to stem the massive flow of oil from the remains of the Deepwater Horizon rig and clean up the spill.

“Kevin has spent 15 years and $24 million of his own money on this technology, and we have spent over $1 million more than that on adjusting the machines and preparing them for testing,” Costner’s business partner, Louisiana attorney John Houghtaling, told the Los Angeles Times. “We haven’t gotten a check yet from BP. The sooner it comes, the sooner we can act.”

The technology for the portable liquid separators was originally developed by national laboratories for defense purposes. Costner and his business partner purchased the patent for the technology in 1990 and have been working on commercial product since then. Costner began working on ways to clean oil from water, according to the LA Times, while working on his 1995 film “Waterworld,” a post-apocalyptic tale in which most of the Earth has been covered by ocean and the remaining people live on boats and other floating structures.

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