Oil spill – Gulf of Mexico 2010

Written by  //  September 19, 2010  //  Oil & gas  //  No comments

Timeline: BP oil spill (20 April to 19 September)
3 August
New study finds that Gulf oil spill is the largest in history
Nearly five million barrels of oil have gushed from BP’s well — and about 800,000 have been captured by containment efforts —since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, according to the latest data. That amount outstrips the estimated 3.3 million barrels spilled into the Bay of Campeche by the Mexican rig Ixtoc I in 1979, previously believed to be the world’s largest accidental release.
23 June
(Wednesday Night) While most of the North American Press excoriates BP, Rolling Stone has published a detailed report on the failures of the current administration – and in particular, Ken Salazar – to take fundamental steps to prevent disasters such as the Gulf oil spill. Read and weep. The Spill, The Scandal and the President: The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years – and let the world’s most dangerous oil company get away with murder
Meanwhile from the U.K. comes Frederick Forsyth’s commentary – perhaps in anticipation of a new book?
“As I understand it the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was designed and built in South Korea.
Did it contain a flaw that triggered the tragedy? We do not know … yet. It is wholly owned by U.S. company Transocean Inc, some of whose staff were on board at the time.
How much were their staff involved in operations? We do not know … yet. BP North America is a 100% American-staffed subsidiary of BP UK.
Basically the old American Amoco Inc which BP bought years ago. Their staff were also among the operating crew. Did they play any role in the explosion that tore open that hole a mile down on the seabed? We do not know … yet.
One thing we do know: the valve that was supposed to shut off all supply the instant anything went wrong malfunctioned. It was designed, made and operated by 100% American company Haliburton (sic) Inc.”
It has been announced that Tony Hayward (won’t it be nice when we can no longer recall who he was), following his unfortunate appearance to cheer on his yacht will skip Tuesday’s session of the World National Oil Companies Congress, where he was due to give the keynote speech about the global responsibilities of international oil companies. We think giving that occasion a miss is probably a good idea.
18 June
BP Oil Spill: As Pay Czar Promises Money, Workers Turned Away From BP Claims Center
Millions of dollars worth of claims have been filed by businesses and people who’ve lost their livelihoods because of the BP oil spill, but 60 days into the crisis, lawmakers say the company has paid only 12 percent of them.
Feinberg promised that will soon change and encouraged workers to file their claims. President Obama this week named Feinberg as his “pay czar” for BP’s oil spill escrow account.
17 June
BP oil spill: Tony Hayward stonewalls Congress
(The Guardian) Hayward, who had been carefully coached by legal and media teams, frustrated the committee with his ‘lack of candour’ … the committee’s search for answers was repeatedly frustrated by Hayward, who denied any involvement in or prior knowledge of the ill-fated decisions about the well that led to the blow-out.
“I was not part of the decision making process on this well,” he said. “I had no prior knowledge.”
Hayward had multiple variations on the same theme: that he had no direct involvement or knowledge of problems on the Deepwater Horizon, even though engineers lower down in BP’s hierarchy had spoken about a “nightmare well”.
7 June
Daniel Gross: The Safest Job in the World
Why BP CEO Tony Hayward hasn’t been fired yet.
(Slate) Of all the mysteries of the BP oil spill, perhaps the most baffling is: Why does BP CEO Tony Hayward still have a job? still have a job? Hayward, who has been CEO of BP since 2007, was in charge when the disastrous blowout at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico took place, and he’s been in charge as BP has failed—and failed, and failed again—to stop the flow of crude oil into the Gulf. What’s more, his (unbacked-up) reassurances and poor turns of phrase (“I want my life back”) have aggravated the damage to BP’s public
2 June
(Wednesday Night) Meanwhile, we would like to have someone explain why BP is ignoring recommendations from former Shell CEO John Hofmeister to use supertankers to suck up the spill. It’s been well over two weeks since BP was first approached and nobody seems interested in following a proven method that was used in a hitherto unknown Arabian Gulf spill in the ‘90s. Similarly, Kevin Kostner has reportedly developed an oil separating technology that BP is not interested in hearing about.
26 May
(Wednesday Night) The continuing ecological and economic disaster of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico attracts daily commentary and a variety of opinions. There have obviously been serious lapses in governance and the latest news that Despite Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead  is troubling to say the least. We concur with Bob Herbert’s conclusion that “President Obama has an obligation to make it unmistakably clear that BP’s interests are not the same as America’s interests. He needs to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people who are taking the brunt of this latest corporate outrage. The oil has now stained nearly 70 miles of the Louisiana Coast. No one can say what terrible toll the gusher is taking in the depths of the gulf. And spreading right along with the oil is a pervasive and dismaying sense of helplessness from our leaders in Washington.”

5 May
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has moved from spectacular to a disaster of major proportions with unbearable consequences for humans, marine life and fragile ecosystems alike – and ramifications in the political world, including calls for reversal of the Obama administration’s energy and environment reforms.
 US energy sector reform to be affected by Louisiana oil spill
Although Mr. Harper says Offshore spill won’t happen to Canada, Jack Layton shares our concerns and is asking that the Gulf oil disaster be put on the G8 agenda.
Meanwhile, despite this afternoon’s faintly encouraging news, we suggest that it is time to ponder the following thought and whether it may not apply equally to other nations (Canada’s Tar Sands, perhaps?).
“As more details of the BP spill incident emerge, one spies a familiar pattern. Major projects in America seem to be rife with wishful thinking and short-term economics. Because it’s cheaper to believe in best cases. Until the worst case happens.” New Orleans: The Joy and the Dread
Paul Krugman also contributes a thoughtful piece Drilling, Disaster, Denial
“It took futuristic technology to achieve one of the worst ecological disasters on record. Without such technology, after all, BP couldn’t have drilled the Deepwater Horizon well in the first place.”
3 May
Gulf Oil Spill: Who’s to Blame?
BP, Halliburton and the Feds Are All Implicated
(CBS B-net) If it’s discovered that BP didn’t do everything it could to prevent the accident, its guilt in the public eye will soar to new levels. Now a whistleblower report by a former contractor has emerged that apparently says BP was in fact cutting corners, dangerously so. The contractor first suspected problems when hired to work on the BP Atlantis oil platform, according to Truthout
1 May
Halliburton in spotlight in gulf spill probe
(LATimes) Investigators look at the company’s role in cementing the deepwater drill hole in the Gulf of Mexico. Transocean and BP also face questioning.

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