Sun May 16th, 2010 at 08:23:17 AM EST
Update: CBS 60 minutes segments added below. Absolutely devastating insight to what transpired at the rig before and during the disaster.
How low can the crooked management of British Petroleum go? New lows are reached every day and there appears to be no end in sight. It is stunning to see the tone deafness being demonstrated by the company’s executives. The short sighted denial of responsibility, the obfuscation of facts and the continued reckless behavior will haunt the company for a long time and will hurt its stockholders beyond the immediate impact of the blowout.
The company initially denied that there was any oil escaping the well that they had drilled and only expressed concern related to the oil that was actually on the lost rig. A few days later the company admitted that oil was leaking and provided an estimate of 1,000 bbl/day. Another few days passed and the estimate was adjusted upwards, to 5,000 bbl/day.
But many suspected early on that the company was fudging and that the real volume was considerably higher – by a factor of 10, or more. Here is a statement from NPR :
The amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico may be at least 10 times the size of official estimates, according to an exclusive analysis conducted for NPR.
You can also see Shaviv’s diary
@ Daily Kos for an extensive discussion.
Yet, BP refuses to take steps
to actually measure the spill, a spill that at the end of the day will dwarf that of the Exxon Valdez disaster:
BP has resisted entreaties from scientists that they be allowed to use sophisticated instruments at the ocean floor that would give a far more accurate picture of how much oil is really gushing from the well.
"The answer is no to that," a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. "We're not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It's not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort."
Sure - not relevant and will detract from the effort, what bullshit!
And that is not the only asinine comment coming from the company. Its CEO, Tony Hayward, managed to utter this whopper reported on Friday by the Guardian:
"The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume," he said.
Right; a drop of arsenic in your veins should be OK - after all, you've got a lot of blood pumping around.
And now it turns out that most of the problem appears to be invisible. And that the environmental disaster happening in front of us will be far worse than many anticipated
Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.
"There's a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water," said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. "There's a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column."
(go read the whole article)
Do the troubles with BP end there? Far from it - what prompted me to do an entry today was this headline:
BP's Own Probe Finds Safety Issues on Atlantis Rig
This rig also operates in the Mexican Gulf, in deeper waters and further from the coast - 150 miles south of New Orleans and at a depth of more than 7,000 feet.
Here are some choice quotes from the article - again, you should click over and read the entire piece (4 pages):
Stanley Sporkin, a former federal judge whose firm served as BP's ombudsman, said that the allegation "was substantiated, and that's it." The firm was hired by BP in 2006 to act as an independent office to receive and investigate employee complaints.
Engineering documents - covering everything from safety shutdown systems to blowout preventers - are meant to be roadmaps for safely starting and halting production on the huge offshore platform.
Running an oil rig with flawed and missing documentation is like cooking a dinner without a complete recipe, said University of California, Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea, an oil pipeline expert who has been reviewing the whistle-blower allegations and studied the Gulf blowout.
"BP has reviewed the allegations and found them to be unsubstantiated," said Karen K. Westall, managing attorney for BP.
The Atlantis subcontractor who lodged the complaint was Kenneth Abbott. He was laid off in February 2009 and said in a written statement a few months later that he believes it was partly in retaliation, which the company denied.
When reached by the AP, Abbott said, "I had complained about BP's problem," but declined to elaborate.
Sawyer said he found that about 85 percent of the piping and instrument designs "have no final approval" and more than 95 percent of the welding specifications had no approval at all.
Ms. Karen K. Westall, managing attorney for BP competes with her own CEO - Tony Hayward, as well as the spokesman - Tom Mueller - for the arrogance award as so vividly demonstrated in their respective statements quoted above.
Meanwhile, wildlife and fisheries are being destroyed at an unprecedented level and there is no end in sight. Time to nationalize this rapacious industry!?
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