I urge you to read through the references that I have used to build today’s blog. You will find the last two particularly poignant and damning (*). Relearn (learn) just how many perfidious acts BP has been caught out in so far! Then ask yourself, “why are we entrusting the fixing of this entire catastrophe to them?”
And now to the blog!
BP is ‘doing everything it can’ (so it tells us) to stem the humongous geyser of oil, gushing from the severed pipe, beneath what once was the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig exploded and sank, on April 20, 2010 killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others.
This is the biggest, most destructive oil spill to take place in the United States. But it mirrors to some extent what happened with the Mexican IXTOC 1 disaster of June 3rd, 1979. The main difference being that with this disaster (IXTOC 1) they were only drilling at a depth of 1.9 miles.
In the initial stages of the Mexican spill, an estimated 30,000 barrels of oil per day were flowing from the well. In July 1979, the pumping of mud into the well reduced the flow to 20,000 barrels per day, and early in August the pumping of nearly 100,000 steel, iron, and lead balls into the well reduced the flow to 10,000 barrels per day. Pemex (Mexico’s government-owned oil company) claimed that half of the released oil burned when it reached the surface, a third of it evaporated, and the rest was contained or dispersed. Mexican authorities also drilled two relief wells into the main well to lower the pressure of the blowout; however the oil continued to flow for three months following the completion of the first relief well.
Pemex contracted Conair Aviation to spray the chemical dispersant Corexit 9527 on the oil. A total of 493 aerial missions were flown, treating 1,100 square miles of oil slick. Dispersant’s were not used in the U.S. area of the spill because of the dispersant’s inability to treat weathered oil. Eventually the on-scene coordinator (OSC) requested that Mexico stop using dispersant’s north of 25°N.
POINT: To date BP has attempted pumping mud into the well to reduce the Deepwater Horizon Spill (DWS). BP has attempted pumping plastic, old tyres and golf balls into stem the gushing oil. They are currently drilling two relief wells to try and cap off the spewing gusher.
POINT: BP is currently spraying COREXIT 9500 as a dispersant.
Since the Deepwater Horizon Disaster began spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico over fifty days ago, the catastrophe has constantly been measured against the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. The Alaska spill leaked nearly 11 million gallons of crude, killed countless wildlife and tarnished the owner of the damaged tanker, Exxon.
Yet the leader of botched containment efforts in the critical hours after the tanker ran aground wasn’t Exxon Mobil Corp. It was BP PLC, the same firm now fighting to plug the Gulf leak.
BP owned a controlling interest in the Alaska oil industry consortium that was required to write a cleanup plan and respond to the spill two decades ago. It also supplied the top executive of the consortium, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.
Lawsuits and investigations that followed the Valdez disaster blamed both Exxon and Alyeska for a response that was bungled on many levels.
People who had a front row seat to the Alaska spill tell The Associated Press that BP’s actions in the Gulf suggest it hasn’t changed much at all.
What could have been an oil spill covering a few acres became one that stretched 1,100 miles, said Walter Parker, the commission’s chairman.
“They were not prepared to respond at all,” Parker said, referring to Alyeska. “They did not have a trained team … The equipment was buried under several feet of snow.”
The commission’s report dedicated an entire chapter to failures by Alyeska, which was formed by the oil companies to run a pipeline stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Valdez terminal. BP had the biggest stake in the consortium and essentially ran the first days of containment efforts in Prince William Sound, an inlet on the south coast of Alaska.
They Failed Miserably Then — need I say more?
Alyeska is the archaic spelling of the word Alaska meaning “mainland”, “great country”, or “great land”. The Aleuts are the indigenous people of Alaska.
ALYESKA is also synonymous with the Trans Alaska Oil Pipe Line System.
On May 25th 2010, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was shut down after a power failure led to a spill of “several thousands” of barrels of oil. A containment area consisting of gravel and impermeable tarp was reportedly successful in heading off any environmental damage, though there are ongoing concerns–amid watchdog groups and reporters who’ve covered the pipeline in general and the activities of BP specifically–about the pipeline’s serious corrosion problems, the system’s insufficient staffing and the lax maintenance of equipment, and the integrity of the pipeline itself.
BP (British Petroleum) is the majority owner of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline’s operators, Aleyska.
ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska, Inc. 28.29%
ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, 20.34%
Unocal Pipeline Company, 1.36%
Koch Alaska Pipeline Company, L.L.C., 3.08%
(These company details are to be found at the official Trans Alaska Pipe Line Web Site.)
There have been, over the past years, numerous serious reports about poor management and cost cuttings which have taken place along the Trans Alaska Pipe Line. Don’t forget will you that BP owns a 46.93% stake in this massive money spinning venture!
BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast has been covering the #TAPS concerns for years. Here’s his latest:
With the Gulf Coast dying of oil poisoning, there’s no space in the press for British Petroleum’s latest spill, just this week: over 100,000 gallons, at its Alaska pipeline operation. A hundred thousand used to be a lot. Still is.
On Tuesday, Pump Station 9, at Delta Junction on the 800-mile pipeline, busted. Thousands of barrels began spewing an explosive cocktail of hydrocarbons after “procedures weren’t properly implemented” by BP operators, say state inspectors. “Procedures weren’t properly implemented” is, it seems, BP’s company motto.
Few Americans know that BP owns the controlling stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline; but, unlike with the Deepwater Horizon, BP keeps its Limey name off the Big Pipe.
There’s another reason to keep their name off the Pipe: their management of the pipe stinks. It’s corroded, it’s undermanned and “basic maintenance” is a term BP never heard of.
How does BP get away with it? The same way the Godfather got away with it: bad things happen to folks who blow the whistle. BP has a habit of hunting down and destroying the careers of those who warn of pipeline problems.
In one case, BP’s CEO of Alaskan operations hired a former CIA expert to break into the home of a whistle blower, Chuck Hamel, who had complained of conditions at the pipe’s tanker facility. BP tapped his phone calls with a US congressman and ran a surveillance and smear campaign against him. When caught, a US federal judge said BP’s acts were “reminiscent of Nazi Germany.”
I encourage readers to read the entire article. (link below)
In ending this blog today, I guess there is just one rhetorical question: Why does history keep repeating itself with BP? Ah well perhaps there is another question – how do we stop this and quickly?
IXTOC 1 Oil Spill – Wiki
History repeats itself – BP – Exxon Valdez Disaster
ALYESKA – Wiki
The Other Recent BP Oil Spill you may have missed
Trans Alaska Pipe Line Web Site
# TAPS Trans Alaska Pipeline System – History
Greg Palast – article
the act of violating faith or allegiance; violation of a promise or vow, or of trust reposed; faithlessness; treachery
A MUST READ on the PERFIDY of BP and associates