Jupiter company's machines can cap oil spill

By John Bachman - bio | email

JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - A Jupiter company has a hand in the efforts to help end the oil spill disaster. Its robotic submarines can be used to cap the gushing oil, but the same spill the company is trying to help could prove damaging to business in the long run.

At Perry Slingsby Systems, tucked away in Jupiter, engineers are putting the finishing touches on one of their ROVs or remotely operated vehicles. The machines are impressive and used specifically to work on underwater oil rigs, like the deep sea horizon currently gushing more than a million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico each day.

"Right now, these are the only things that are trying to stop the leak," said Lou Dennis, VP of Perry Slingsby Systems.

Dennis gave us a tour of their manufacturing facility and a first hand look at how the ROVs work.

Pilots steer the ROVs down to what's called 'blow out preventer' which is at the bottom of the Gulf. That's were most of the oil is leaking under intense pressure. "The fact that it's deep water and the fact that planned intervention has not gone so well is where the challenge is," said Dennis.

He has every confidence that machines, like the ones his company builds, will get the job done. "They'll get it fixed," he assured.

But he's less confident about the future of his company.

While the Perry Slingsby equipment is likely working on the spill, the fallout from this disaster could put an end to a plan increase offshore drilling touted by President Obama just a few months ago. "It would have been nice, but the current economic conditions have changed people's spending," Dennis explained.

Because of those economic conditions, the company is moving as many as 100 manufacturing jobs overseas and to Houston which, for some people, is one disaster following another.