Thursday, July 22, 2010

BP Shows Just How Cheap It Really Is

The LA Times today has an article about a new device that "promises a faster, cheaper and more efficient way to remove spilled oil than traditional skimmers...".  It is the first to be developed out of about a 120,000 suggestions that BP has received since their oil gusher appeared in the Gulf.  It is essentially a floating cage with a porous bag that collects the oil and lets the seawater flow through.

It costs about $42 per bag (they are replaced when full) and about $6000 per cage.  BP has ordered 100 of them.

The concept was developed by Gerry Matherne.  BP engineers took his original prototype, tweaked the design somewhat, and came up with the final design that they have gone ahead with.

You would think that Matherne would be in line for a big payday.  After all, he has beat out all others in coming up with a usable design;  all others including some of the best minds that the oil companies have.  Matherne developed this device on his own time.

But, you know how much money Matherne is going to get?


Why you ask?

He is an oil tanker captain who happens to be employed by BP.

He could have developed this device while working as an oil tanker captain for any other company and he would have gotten some money - probably.  But, because he is a BP employee, he gets nothing.

Way to watch out for your people, you big fucking corporation!



    check out the video also.

  2. Not surprised, as this is standard corporate operating procedure. Sucks for sure. If the man got only 1/2 of one percent of the money he most likely saved them, he could buy his own tanker.

  3. So BP owns the patent and not Matherne?

  4. There's no mention of a patent in the article, but as an employee of BP he has probably signed an agreement that anything he comes up with is the property of BP. It is a standard agreement that most corporations have and it generally covers inventions that you come up with outside of work also. There may be an exception if your invention has absolutely nothing to do with your work, but that is not the case here.