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BP Greed Equates To Malice Aforethought

Criminally Appalling Disregard For Life and Nature In A Quest For The Almighty Dollar

REUTERS-PICTURE-HIGHLIGHT-006Last Sunday night 60 Minutes interviewed a walking, talking miracle – Mike Williams, at work as the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon the night it exploded. Employed by Transocean, the largest off-shore drilling company and owners of the rig, leased by BP the nation’s biggest oil and gas producer. One of the most sophisticated drilling rigs in the world at a cost of 350 million (USD), with a crew of 126.

Plunging through 5,000 feet of water, they drilled down another 13,000 feet, a total of 3.5 miles. Oil and gas at this depth is under enormous pressure. The key to controlling that pressure is a fluid called “mud”, a man-made fluid pumped down the well and back up the sides in a continuous circulation. The shear weight of the mud keeps the oil and gas down and the well under control.

Williams said there was trouble from the start. First, getting to the oil was taking too long. Costing BP a million dollars a day, what was suppose to take 21 days was already in the 6th week, when a BP manager ordered a faster pace, (after all – time is money). But speeding up the pace caused the bottom of the well to split open, swallowing up tools and the mud, stuck the bit, and caused that well to be abandoned, costing the company 25 million dollars.

Four weeks before the explosion, the rig’s most vital piece of safety equipment the Blow-Out Preventer (BOP), was damaged. Located down near the sea-bed, it is used to seal the well shut in order to test the pressure and integrity of the well and in the case of a blow-out, it’s the crews only hope. A key component of the BOP, is a thick rubber gasket called an Annular, which can close tightly around the drill pipe. During a test they closed the gasket but, while it was shut tight a joystick was accidentally nudged applying hundreds of thousands of pounds of force and moving 15 feet of pipe through the closed BOP. Later a crew member monitoring drilling fluid rising to the top found chunks of rubber in the fluid. Concerned, he gathered the rubber and took it directly to the supervisor, who said it was no big deal. Add to this another problem encountered weeks before with one of the BOP’s two control pods losing functionality, (that was never reported). Plus the BOP had a hydraulic leak and a weak battery. Transocean said the BOP was tested by remote control after these incidents and passed.BlowOutPreventer

The morning of the explosion the Deepwater Horizon’s work was nearly done, the well would be sealed so another rig could pump the oil out at a later date. As a safety meeting was taking place, an argument between the BP manager and the Transocean manager ensued about how this process would take place. Haliburton, a subcontractor, was to place 3 concrete plugs at various depths, like corks, in the well column. The Transocean manager wanted to do this with the column full of the mud to keep the pressure down below contained. But the BP company man wanted to remove the mud before the last plug was set because it would be quicker. And BP won. They did a test to see if the first 2 plugs would hold the pressure down. The test was done with the known faulty BOP and was pronounced good. But as the fluid was removed releasing the downward pressure, the plugs failed, the BOP didn’t work and eleven men were incinerated.

Mike was one of the last to escape the explosion. He had been in his work shop the night of the explosion when he heard the rigs engines suddenly run wild. That was the moment when explosive gas went shooting across the decks, being sucked into the engines and generators that power the rig. The engines kept increasing speed, so loud it drowned out the constant audible alarms. The lights got so bright, they literally exploded. As he pushed himself back from his desk, his computer monitor exploded. Getting to the first thick, steel, fire proof door, an explosion tore the door from the hinges, hit Mike and propelled him across the shop. He recovers from that and as he reaches the second fire door, another explosion hits and hurls that door into him. With a deep gash on his forehead, he eventually makes it to the side rail and is forced to jump 10 stories, “falling forever” into the oily, burning sea below. Heat so intense he thought himself on fire. Swimming for his life a stranger in an open boat plucked him out of the oily dangerous water, he made it, 11 others did not.

To make matters worse, there’s a good possibility of another horrendous event on the horizon. Hired by BP to manage thousands of engineering drawings for the Atlantis platform, Ken Abbott, a former BP insider, told 60 Minutes that the Atlantis platform is a greater threat than the Deepwater Horizon. Built and now at work pumping 200,000 barrels a day. In a year or 2 the volume will be 4 times that amount when all 16 wells are established. Without most all the critical surface and subsea document finalizations by engineers necessary for such as safe operations, underwater welding, and emergency shut down procedures. Concerns were voiced, emails flew, met only with criticism, dismissive responses and lay-offs. Abbott has filed suit to force the Federal Government to shut down Atlantis.

Monday, Rick Sanchez on CNN, had a phone interview with Mike Mason an ex-BP employee in Alaska. Mason said that BP routinely falsified reports and test results. He recounted during weekly scheduled integrity pressure testing on the BOPs required by the government, if no state inspectors were on hand (which is about half the time because of the small numbers of inspectors), BP would more often than not, cheat on the test. As the pressure came to the proper 5,000 psi testing point on a paper graph, after 10-30 seconds, a BP company man would literally put his finger on the graph page and pull it to the required 5 minute mark. Thus, creating the printed illusion of a properly timed test. When asked why they would do this Mason quoted what is apparently BP’s logo “Money – Time Is Money”. He went on to describe how BP cuts corners in areas like maintenance and hiding spills, albeit small ones, hidden and non-reported spill none the less.

platform_600Back at the Gulf of Mexico the oil is still spewing, even after a mile-long suction tube was inserted into the pipe, some of the best estimates say it is equivalent to the Exxon Valdez spill – every four to seven days. It cannot be overestimated, as scientist are reporting vast plumes of oil up to 10 miles long, suspended under the surface. It’s beneath the surface, floating on the surface, hitting the shoreline, killing land animals, marine life, the environment, and the Gulf Coast economy. It’s now heading towards the Florida keys on it’s way to lubricate the Atlantic Ocean.

So in the end, where’s the fault lie? Haliburton’s failed cement plugs, Transocean damaged the BOP, and BP’s damn the rules, the lives, the environment, and the livelihood of others, as long as it’s full speed ahead on getting the money – at all cost.

And do you think they care? BP was found “willfully negligent” in the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 workers. Fined 108 million dollars, the highest work place safety fines in US history. Chump change to BP, yet they continue to fight the fines.

When will the Gulf Coast recover? Well, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) brought a jar of oil rocks into a Senate Committee hearing which had recently been collected from Alaska’s Prince William Sound to show that “the legacy of the Exxon Valdez still lives with us”. The Exxon Valdez disaster was 21 years ago.

Now remember this at the polls America – On May 13, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), stood up on the Senate floor, objected to, and essentially killed the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act of 2010, which would raise the liability cap on offshore drilling accidents from $75 million to $10 billion. Why on God’s green Earth would the the senator from the state that got hammered by the Exxon Valdez spill object to raising the liability cap? Her argument was defense of mom-and-pop oil companies. UNBELIEVABLE!

The spill has cost BP about 500 million dollars so far, not including the maximum capped fine of 75 million dollars, they may have to pay (prediction: not without a drawn out legal battle). Of course to BP that’s still just chump change – considering they made profits of 6 BILLION dollars – in just the first 3 months of this year.

…. as the green future works to unfold!

Sources: 60 Minutes (CBS) – Rick Sanchez (CNN) – the Houston Chronicle

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26 Responses to “BP Greed Equates To Malice Aforethought”

  1. Jason Says:

    There are many like Mike Williams out there who can tell a story of the consequences of ignoring peril. Hopefully public sentiment may change its learning curve for once as dissatisfaction spreads from the decade of misery into what seems to be the decade of cynical pessimism.

    This is a good blog, particularly when sometimes it seems those who see things others miss until its too late can leave one feeling like a misunderstood Cassandra. Maybe this will be one case where attending to the problem rather than trying to find a silver lining can prevent a tragic outcome. Uplifting successes are long overdue, on all fronts.
    .-= Jason´s last blog ..Erroneous =-.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Jason …. Thank you very much! I could really use an outstanding environmental success story. Something like “looky here, no need for oil! We have what we need with out it! Like the little pocket size battery that will charge your electric vehicle for over a year without a recharge” …

    Sometimes, quite often, it does feel as though I walked into the line of fire when Apollo shot out his curse! 😀 especially where I live…

  3. The Fitness Diva Says:

    Wow. That was a pretty harrowing account of what Mike and his co workers endured during the explosions. Holy hell, what a dangerous job they have. I can’t even imagine.

    It’s even more sick that these companies are allowed to operate like this, having a complete disregard for the damage they’re doing and lives they’re jeopardizing just to “get the goods”. Aren’t there laws against this? I mean, aren’t there guidelines they’re supposed to follow, and when they don’t, penalties?
    If not, there absolutely should be. Fines are not enough, especially if they’re still allowed to pursue this business in the meantime. Crazy.

    Still waiting to see how this whole mess gets cleaned up — if it ever truly can be.

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Fitness Diva … There are laws. They are civil laws not criminal laws. And when the penalties for breaking these civil laws are like pocket change to someone like BP, the fines equate to a little over 1 days profit for BP! How in the world does our government expect to curtail such violators. What needs to happen is criminal charges be brought against the chain of command, not the workers whose work is directed by that chain of command. Somehow, it has gotten down to the fact that it is very profitable to violate the law, the earth and humans.

  5. Lissof Says:

    Thanks Linda, I am most certain before this is over, there will be additional revelations of dirty disgusting tactics utilized by Big Oil to shirk their responsibility to conduct business in a Professional and Safe manner,,, respecting human life and the environment we need to survive.

    Our dependence on oil and coal will not allow up to turn off the tap and shut down the mines today,,,, But it should cause us to accelerate the investment in renewable energies, efficient utilization of energies for our vehicles and appliances, and conservation measures to ensure we do not waste our resources.

    When the cost of fossil energy increases to the point it makes financial incentives to invest in alternative energies the only choice, it will happen… How much value do you place on human life and the destruction of the environment???

    Now is the time to lean on our politicians, we have elections coming up. Those who are not subject to re-election will pay attention to the demise of their comrades and act more responsibly only if we put pressure on them.

    I say hold their feet to the fire. Burn them, burn them good, so the message sticks.

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof … Yahooooo! The vote and burning of the feet should wake up the lawmakers that we call Congress. So Folks! Lets get flaming hot and use it on lawmakers like Senator Murkowski whose hand is evidently in the front pockets of the oil industry! There is no logical reason why anyone should stop the legislation that is trying up the fines from 75 million dollars to 10 billion The mom and pop argument she gave is ludicrous and insulting — Alaska get her out!

  7. RE - RecycledFrockery Says:

    Linda don’t you think they missed their best opportunity to jail tony while he was testifying and signifying up in the house the other day ? why didn’t they rush up in there with the fbi and put their bling on him for his crime ?

    isn’t this akin to environmental terrorism. this is going to impact many more people than 911, for a much longer peroid of time. and why is nobody looking for Dick Cheney ? he’s the crook who started this mess. all these rigs would have had acoustic blowout valves if he hadn’t been involved. and he shouldn’t have been involved because he was with haliburton who is bp’s partner in this and many other crimes.

    it always comes down to Ignorance, Arrogance and Chaos.
    .-= RE – RecycledFrockery´s last blog ..This is Wall Street – The Only Difference is a suit and fine shoes =-.

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi RE … As much as I giddily agree with you, The FBI could not put their bling on Tony due to it being civil law (bet your buddy Cheney took care of that as well!).
    Just joking … about the buddy part.

    The only reason that I can see that it is NOT environmental terrorism is the profit margin. So your IAC is absolutely right on!!! But then again, I am just cynical! 😀

  9. Barbara Says:

    Thanks for giving us the goods on this horrifying tragedy. I too, watch Rick Sanchez and think they are doing a good job on getting to the truth of the matter.

    I can’t figure out, why BP isn’t made to be more accountable.
    Seems like they are just dragging their feet, while the problem just keeps getting bigger. If it starts going up the East Coast, I would think we have reached the point of NO return, as far as ever getting it cleaned up!

    It is just sickening, to see what is happening to the way of life and the wildlife. It’s one thing, that we are still not looking to other alternatives for fuel. It’s another, to just have what we have here, being wasted and ruining our environment at the same time! When is enough, enough? Seems like there is NO big hurry, to get this cleaned up!
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..Reflections of 30 Years Ago! =-.

  10. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … I don’t know when these fools are going to wake up and realize they don’t live ‘off-planet’. They think they have us by our combustion engines. But as my grandmother used to say – “The days of poopin’ in my saddle and riding off in yours are over!”

    Enough will be enough when we all stand in one unified voice and VOTE a message that says we are no longer going to live by their interpretation of the Golden Rule – “The man with the gold, rules.”

  11. electronic cigarette Says:

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  12. Linda Says:

    Hi electronic cigarette … Thank you! Come back again!

  13. Barbara Swafford Says:

    Hi Linda,

    I wish I had seen the story on 60 Minutes. It sounds like it was very informative. Where this disaster will end, is anyone’s guess, but it appears to only be getting worse.

    What saddens me is how I have yet to hear the names of the people who died in the explosion. Although they may have been publicized, the stories I hear are about BP, Big Oil, politics and NOT about those who risked their lives and lost. My heart goes out to their families.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Shhhh! Listen Carefully…What’s Your Blog Telling You? =-.

  14. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … You are absolutely right and I apologize for not listing their names until now –

    Jason Anderson
    Aaron Dale Burkeen
    Donald Clark
    Stephen Curtis
    Roy Wyatt Kemp
    Karl Kleppinger
    Gordon Jones
    Blair Manuel
    Dewey Revette
    Shane Roshto
    Adam Weise

  15. Sandra Rose Hughes Says:

    This whole thing makes me sick at my stomach. Why is BP even still in business? If a company destroys miles and miles of our coast, they should be forced to shut down.

  16. Linda Says:

    Hi Sandra … Not until they have fixed what has been ruined! 😀

    Hi Bill … It should not increase the price! It is their boo-boo that could have been prevented had they listened to the crew. They were after the almighty dollar and for what? Lost lives, lost resource and damaged lands. Sigh!

  17. Bill Says:

    nice post, i think that we really need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. i know it may increase prices but the environment can’t take many more of these.

  18. Barbara Swafford Says:

    Hi Linda,

    Thank you for posting the names. Yesterday was the first time I say the names on TV and I believe that’s because there was a memorial in their honor.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Are Blogs Dying? =-.

  19. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara …. You are welcome! I know what you mean and it is just sad that the boys only show or list the names when it is to their advantage.

  20. Wynell Gaglio Says:

    You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren¡¯t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  21. Linda Says:

    Hi Wynell ….. Thank you and we are not afraid of telling the truth! Come back again!

    Hi Jayne …. You know, that baffles me as well. I hope he sticks to his guns and speaks up when it is necessary! I am on your list so let’s see how many go for it!

  22. injaynesworld Says:


    I saw the Williams interview on 60 Minutes and expected to see him all over the news after that, but I haven’t seen a word. This worries me. I hope BP hasn’t found a way to silence him legally. He would be a star witness in the criminal case against them — if that ever gets filed. I hope we hear more from this guy because I’m outraged by what he said and more people need to hear it.

  23. RE - A BadGalSays Says:

    Girly I just got sick when I saw that their mud didn’t work.

    I am sooooooooooo sooooooooooooooo sooooooooooooooooo sure that since Cheney has the blackest heart in the universe that sticking him in, lock stock and barrel; would solve the problem straight away.

    Who do you suggest we get in contact with to procure this Black Material ?

    Hmmmmmmm… “Dat Sound goodeeehhh” as we say in Jamaica.
    I know with all the unemployed crooks in louisiana, we can find at least one outta work trapper to catch this rat. they skin possoms big as him for saturday nite zydeco dance. and just think we could have the skin to make a boom out of. it might be big enough to wrap around grand isle. (wink*wink) now that’s greeeeeennnnn..

    Yeeee HA !
    .-= RE – A BadGalSays´s last blog ..Fat is Not Good In The Heart of Anything – Especially The Heart of a Community =-.

  24. Linda Says:

    Hi RE … LOL! You have a great imagination!

  25. Marvin Engard Says:

    Nice post. I like your blog.

  26. Linda Says:

    Hi Marvin …. Thank you! Come back again!

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