image from Defense Visual Information Center (public domain)

Inspired by the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989, actor Kevin Costner has been investing in oil separation technology for the past 15 years.

Costner, an avid fisherman and environmental activist, bought the technology from the government in 1995 and has invested some $24 million of his own money into its development under the company Ocean Therapy Solutions. Now BP are interested in OTS’ machines for cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico due to the Deepwater Horizon rig oil spill.

From a New York Times blog:

On Wednesday, BP’s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, said that the company had approved six of Ocean Therapy’s 32 machines for testing. All boast centrifuge processing technology — giant vacuum-like machines that suck oil from water, separate the oil, store it in a tanker and send the 99.9- percent-purified water back into the gulf.

Watch the below video report from WDSU News for more.

Kevin Costner Helps To Fight Spill

Additional resources:

AP – Oil’s arrival in loop current has Fla. on edge

Guardian ‘In pictures’ – Deepwater Horizon oil spill reaches the coast

WDSU News – Fisherman Cleaning Spill Complain Of Sickness