REFILE-Titanic film director says BP turned down help offer

(Clarifies headline to make clear it refers to Cameron the film

* Cameron says his offer to help BP was turned down

* Director has extensive deep-sea operations experience

* He says “those morons don’t know what they’re doing”

By Alexei Oreskovic

PALOS VERDES, Calif, June 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Film director and
deep-sea explorer James Cameron said on Wednesday that BP Plc
(BP.L: ) (BP.N: ) turned down his offer to help combat the massive
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve watched, as we all have, with
growing horror and heartache, watching what’s happening in the
Gulf and thinking those morons don’t know what they’re doing,”
Cameron said at the All Things Digital technology conference.

Cameron, the director of “Avatar” and “Titanic,” has worked
extensively with robot submarines and is considered an expert in
undersea filming. He did not say explicitly who he meant when he
referred to “those morons.”

His comments came a day after he participated in a meeting
at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in
Washington to “brainstorm” solutions to the oil spill.

Cameron said he has offered to help the government and BP in
dealing with the spill. He said he was “graciously” turned away
by the British energy giant.

He said he has not spoken with the White House about his
offer, and said that the outside experts who took part in the
EPA meeting were now “writing it all up and putting in reports
to the various agencies.”

The film director has helped develop deep-sea submersible
equipment and other underwater ocean technology for the making
of documentaries exploring the wrecks of the ocean liner Titanic
and the German battleship Bismarck some two miles (3.2 km) below
the surface.


Cameron suggested the U.S. government needed to take a more
active role in monitoring the undersea gusher, which has become
the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

“I know really, really, really smart people that work
typically at depths much greater than what that well is at,”
Cameron said.

The BP oil spill off the U.S. Gulf Coast is located a mile
(1.6 km) below the surface.

While acknowledging that his contacts in the deep-sea
industry do not drill for oil, Cameron said that they are
accustomed to operating various underwater vehicles and
electronic optical fiber systems.

“Most importantly,” he added, “they know the engineering
that it requires to get something done at that depth.”

Among the key issues that Cameron said he is interested in
helping the government with are methods of monitoring the oil
leak and investigating it.

“The government really needs to have its own independent
ability to go down there and image the site, survey the site and
do its own investigation,” he said.

“Because if you’re not monitoring it independently, you’re
asking the perpetrator to give you the video of the crime
scene,” Cameron added.

Cameron made two documentaries about the wreck of the
Titanic as well as the blockbuster 1997 movie “Titanic” using a
small fleet of specially designed remotely operated underwater
vehicles. He said his qualifications are not based on his
background as a movie director but on his years of involvement
in the deep-sea industry.

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(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic, with additional reporting by
Jill Sergeant)

REFILE-Titanic film director says BP turned down help offer