Former oilman and current solar entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett sent out a message today containing a grim prognosis for the Gulf Oil Spill. 

“The bad news about the Macondo well has been like a veil lifted by increments, day by day and week by week, until finally the worst case appears before us: that the relief well drillers may have only one shot at plugging the hole, and that if they fail the leakage may never be stemmed until the pressure in the well drops by means of hemorrhage from the reservoir. That could take up to four years, we are belatedly told.”

 

Leggett has credibility within the industry. He's a geologist who worked as a consultant for oil companies for years. While teaching at the Royal School of Mines, Leggett had his research funded by BP and Shell. In recent years, Leggett has turned green, working for Greenpeace and now is the chairman of Solarcentury, the U.K.’s largest solar energy company.

While Leggett’s prediction is quite grim, it comes as BP’s Managing Director Bob Dudley offered one of the most optimistic predictions heard in some time. Dudley told the Washington Post, “In a perfect world with no interruptions, it is possible to be ready to stop the well between July 20th and July 27th."

So I guess it comes down to who you believe.