BP seems to be admitting that it’s in very deep shit. But the general public in the US remains ignorant of the magnitude and likely consequences of the worst oil spill in US history. Worse still, is that the oil leak the news media have been covering could be the wrong leak. Some experts believe there is a much larger leak five or six miles away.
BP is looking increasingly to be a first-rate sleazeball oil company which is more interested in controlling the flow of information so as to keep the public in the dark, than in capping the fractured well. However, will US Attorney General Eric Holder investigate the possible criminal liability of US federal agencies responsible for regulating companies like BP? Considering that BP has the worst record of any company in the US, one would assume the answer is yes. But governments, and the US government is no exception, usually cover their own asses and leave it up to voters to set things right.
Meanwhile, here’s one forecast of a potential oilpocalypse.
Update: The MSNBC and UCAR links have kicked up a bit of storm among several readers. We obtained the links from MSM sites. Here’s another MSM site reporting that Engineers Say Deepwater Horizon Well Could Leak for Years if Not Stopped
Update 8 June:
Fears that the oil spill has worsened: “BP has stopped trying to calculate a flow rate on its own, referring all questions on that subject to the government. But the immense undersea gusher of oil and gas, seen on live video feed, looks as big as it did last week, or bigger, before the company sliced through the pipe known as a riser to install its new collection device.”
BP’s live feed of the oil spill.
NOAA finds “clouds of oil drifting underwater in the Gulf of Mexico as far as 142 miles from the wrecked Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.”
Gulf damage will last “for years if not decades”
’79 Gulf spill leaves sobering lessons for BP
The wildlife apocalypse along the Gulf Coast that everyone has feared for weeks is fast becoming a terrible reality.
Tracking the oil spill
The usual suspects lawyer up, and with good reason as the following article details.
A NYTimes analysis detailing how BP deliberately, consciously avoided multiple warning signs that a blowout was imminent at Deepwater Horizon, and how the US federal government allowed BP to place human lives and the environment at great risk as it focused on the bottom line financially. Some excerpts:
“New government and BP documents, interviews with experts and testimony by witnesses provide the clearest indication to date that a hodgepodge of oversight agencies granted exceptions to rules, allowed risks to accumulate and made a disaster more likely on the rig, particularly with a mix of different companies operating on the Deepwater whose interests were not always in sync.”
“As early as June 2009, BP engineers had expressed concerns in internal documents about using certain casings for the well because they violated the company’s safety and design guidelines. But they proceeded with those casings. Mechanical problems started in March with the Deepwater, setting the stage for the April 20 explosion. More than five weeks before disaster, the rig was hit by several sudden pulsations of gas called “kicks” and a pipe had become stuck in the well. The blowout preventer, designed to seal the well in an emergency, had been discovered to be leaking fluids at least three times. However, of the 126 people present on the day of the explosion, only eight were employees of BP. The interests of the workers did not always align.”
“In testimony to government investigators, rig workers repeatedly described a “natural conflict” between BP, which can make more money by completing drilling jobs quickly, and Transocean, which receives a leasing fee from BP every day that it continues drilling. Halliburton was on hand to provide cementing services, while a subsidiary monitored various drilling fluids. A different company provided drilling fluid systems, another provided technicians to operate the remote-control vehicles that are they eyes of the rig crew deep underwater, and yet another provided the well casing.”
“On April 1, a job log written by a Halliburton employee warns that BP’s use of cement “was against our best practices.” An April 18 internal Halliburton memorandum indicates that Halliburton again warned BP about its practices, this time saying that a “severe” gas flow problem would occur if the casings were not centered more carefully. Around that same time, a BP document shows, company officials chose a type of casing with a greater risk of collapsing.”
“Despite noticing cementing problems, BP skipped a quality test of the cement around the pipe. Federal regulators also gave the rig a pass at several critical moments. After the rig encountered several problems, including the gas kicks and the pipe stuck in the well, the regulators did not demand a halt to the operation. Instead, they gave permission for a delay in a safety test of the blowout preventer. Tests shortly before the well blew out found a buildup of pressure that was an “indicator of a very large abnormality,” BP concluded and disclosed to Congress in a preliminary report last month. Yet, the rig team was satisfied after another test was deemed successful, and it proceeded.”