Few rig workers seek grants from BP fund
There have been far fewer applicants than expected for money from a $100-million fund that oil giant BP set up to help rig workers after a federal moratorium on deep-water drilling prompted by the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
With nine days left to apply, a spokesman for the charity running the program said that only 356 people had applied. As many as 9,000 people had been expected to seek grants of $3,000 to $30,000.
The charity said it turned out that many deep-water rig workers were being kept on the job by their employers, despite the moratorium.
Grants were expected to be limited to those who worked on the 33 rigs affected by the moratorium. But with so much money apparently left over, the charity plans to offer a second round of grants — to workers who support the deep-water rigs, such as helicopter pilots who provide transportation to rigs and supply boat crew members.