Two years before BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig poisoned the Gulf of Mexico (Saturday was the third anniversary), apparently BP had a very similar disaster in the Caspian Sea and covered it up. Is this a company or this the 13 spills in 30 days industry we want piping tar sands crude across America to the Gulf for all of 35 permanent jobs and CO2 emissions like 51 coal plants? There’s a cleaner, cheaper, and more energy-independent way: solar and wind power can power the U.S. and the world.
Greg Palast wrote for EcoWatch 19 April 2013, BP Covered Up Blow-out Two Years Prior to Deadly Deepwater Horizon Spill,
Two years before the Deepwater Horizon blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP off-shore rig suffered a nearly identical blow-out, but BP concealed the first one from the U.S. regulators and Congress.
This week, EcoWatch.org located an eyewitness with devastating new information about the Caspian Sea oil-rig blow-out which BP had concealed from government and the industry.
The witness, whose story is backed up by rig workers who were evacuated from BP’s Caspian platform, said that had BP revealed the full story as required by industry practice, the eleven Gulf of Mexico workers “could have had a chance” of survival. But BP’s insistence on using methods proven faulty sealed their fate.
One cause of the blow-outs was the same in both cases: the use of a money-saving technique—plugging holes with “quick-dry” cement.
By hiding the disastrous failure of its penny-pinching cement process in 2008, BP was able to continue to use the dangerous methods in the Gulf of Mexico—causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. April 20 marks the second anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster.
There’s more in the article, such as this:
We have learned this week that BP failed to notify the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) about the failure of the cement. (British companies report incidents as minor as a hammer dropped.) Notification would have alerted Gulf cement contractor Halliburton that the process of adding nitrogen to cement posed unforeseen dangers.
Another failure of transparency that, like like the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, killed people.
Palast posted a followup article the next day that lists various ways the coverup appears to have been illegal, and that BP appears to have said Chevron and Exxon knew and didn’t tell relevant regulators or Congress. Is this an industry we can trust to pipe more oil to the Gulf? And if we get on with solar and wind, why do we need any new oil at all?