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BP Files Patent to Produce Oil From Seawater

06/11/2010 04:11 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

British petroleum giant BP filed patents late yesterday for its process of creating oil from seawater. CEO Tony Hayward, known for his candor and prescience, stated that they are on track to collect some 25,000 to 50,000 barrels of oil daily from an announced flow of only 5,000 barrels per day at its former oil platform where eleven workers died in the Gulf of Mexico.

Industry analysts now speculate that the so-called oil "spill" has actually been the first full field-test of the new BP process that could revolutionize deep-water drilling. An official at ExxonMobil, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject and embarrassment that his company had not thought to use this technique for the Exxon Valdez, said admiringly. "Hell, this changes everything. Instead of punching a hole and trying to collect the oil from that reservoir in a long straw, just punch the hole, let the oil flow into the seawater, and bang -- you just recovered ten times as much oil."

A spokesman at the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper noted that this secret test of the new technique could partially explain why BP as well as local and federal officials have limited journalists' access to the area.

A source at the Patent Office, speaking on condition of anonymity because he had been told that if he talked, a couple of guys would make him eligible to sing with the Vienna Boys Choir, said, "The drawings show what looks like a 10-million gallon cowboy hat attached to a black box filled with all sorts of complicated engineering crap." An appendix to the filing states, "Any environmental damage from this process would be extremely minimal."

A Wall Street analyst with a major firm, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he hadn't yet been able to buy all the oil company stock he wanted in the names of family and friends, spoke enthusiastically about the invention. "While this process should dramatically reduce costs, consumers should not expect to see any reduction in the price at the pump. It should, however, fuel [laughing at his own pun] a huge increase in oil company profits. Spill, baby, spill."