This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

BP May Be Letting Best Solutions Slip By

WALTHAM, Mass. ( TheStreet) -- BP (BP - Get Report), the energy company struggling to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for the past three weeks, may be letting the best solutions fall through the cracks.

As the Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command -- which includes BP; Transocean (RIG - Get Report), which built the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded April 20 and sank; and government agencies -- has received 50,000 calls on its help line, no ideas have stuck. About 30% of callers were looking to submit ideas and others were seeking jobs, says Bryan Ferguson, a BP representative who has been manning phones at the U.S. Coast Guard Joint Information Center in Robert, La.

Photos: The Gulf Oil Spill

Meanwhile, Innocentive has been fielding oil-spill cleanup ideas from its network of engineers, scientists and biologists. Innocentive is a so-called open-innovation intermediary, a company employed to help define problems for large companies such as Colgate-Palmolive (CL - Get Report), and post the problems as challenges for entrepreneurs to solve. Usually, the problem solvers receive cash awards, with corporate clients footing the bill. But earlier this month, the firm issued its first pro bono challenge, asking for solutions to the oil spill, with plans to send the best ideas to BP.

BP's own system to vet ideas isn't efficient, especially considering the time-sensitive nature of the spill, which is creeping toward shore. BP is trying to contain oil and natural gas leaking from a well on the ocean floor. Shutting the well may take months.

Gulf Oil Drilling Is Worth the Risk (Forbes)

The Unified Command's hotline for submitting solutions (281-366-5511) is the same as the phone number for job inquiries. The Unified Command's Web site notes that "all proposals are reviewed for technical feasibility and application. Given the volume of proposals, this may take some time."

A Unified Command hotline volunteer who answered a call from TheStreet said she hadn't yet received any worthy or novel ideas from callers, and that most of her callers were looking for work.

In the meantime, "we have not been able to get BP to respond yet," says Dwayne Spradlin, chief executive officer of Innocentive in Waltham, Mass., the city where many of the state's high-tech companies are based. "As a citizen and a consumer and a human being, the fact that BP isn't seriously inviting all the help they can get is concerning to me."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
ABX $12.29 0.00%
BP $42.50 0.00%
CL $68.50 0.00%
RIG $20.15 0.00%
AAPL $132.54 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs