BP cash for Gulf of Mexico R&D

$500 million program to investigate effects of Macondo blow out.

The BP-backed Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI) issues a request for proposals ‘RFP-I’ with the aim of establishing ‘four to eight’ research consortia with a minimum of $37.5 million per funding. The consortia will be tasked with studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident on the Gulf of Mexico. In particular, research will seek to understand the impact of oil and dispersant on ocean and coastal systems, and to establish how the marine environment responds to large accidental inputs.

GRI Chair Rita Colwell said, ‘GRI was created by BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to develop an independent, merit-based process to identify and fund the best possible research into the fate and effects of oil and oil dispersants on the Gulf of Mexico.’ Last May, BP committed $500 million over a 10-year period to create the independent research program which is to be conducted at research institutions primarily in the US Gulf Coast States. 

Along with the impact assessment, GRI is to develop improved spill mitigation, oil and gas detection, characterization, and remediation technologies. The ultimate goal of the GRI is to improve society’s ability to understand and respond to the impacts of petroleum pollution and related stressors of marine and coastal ecosystems. The results of the research will be applied to restoration and to improvement of the long-term environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico.

RFP-I has five component areas, 1) physical distribution, dispersion and dilution of petroleum, 2) chemical evolution and degradation, 3) environmental effects, 4) response/mitigation technology and 5) public health. More from www.oilit.com/links/1105_35.

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