Saturday, June 19, 2010


How BP Cut Corners on Well Design

Of the two major deepwater well designs available, BP routinely used the cheapest, which had fewer safety checks, employing the riskier well in 35 percent of its offshore rigs, a Wall Street Journal investigation shows. Competitors used that well type, called long string, far less often: Royal Dutch Shell only 8 percent of the time, Chevron 15 percent of the time, and BHP Billiton on only 4 percent of its wells. BP's rivals have blasted the company for its breezy approach to safety. Meanwhile, BP CEO Tony Hayward was pulled from managing daily operations in the oil spill Friday due to his gaffe-prone handling of the crisis. Still, some tiny bit of good news came out of the Gulf Friday, as BP collected 25,000 barrels of oil, the most in a day so far. But questions persist about the rate of the spill, with latest estimates hovering between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels a day. Hayward and his BP henchmen are incompetent, Donald Trump says in an interview with The Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove—not just at plugging holes, but also for how they screwed up their negotiation with the feds.

Read it at The Daily Beast check it out get back to me

Louisiana Turns to Prayer

It has been exactly two months after the Deepwater Horizon oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and the people of Louisiana can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. So Louisiana lawmakers want to call on a higher power than BP for help. The state Senate has unanimously voted on a day of prayer. "Thus far efforts made by mortals to try to solve the crisis have been to no avail," state Sen. Robert Adley said. "It is clearly time for a miracle for us." Meanwhile, BP resumed its recovery efforts Saturday after work was suspended for around 10 hours due to mechanical issues. It meant that it was able to collect 8,480 barrels from midnight to 12 p.m. Saturday, less than half of Friday's 24,500-barrel take. BP CEO Tony Hayward was widely criticized on Saturday for attending a yacht race on the Isle of Wight, but the company's spokesperson jumped to his defense, saying "he's spending a few hours with his family at a weekend. I'm sure everyone would understand that." Meanwhile, one person is coming out on top in this crisis. Once left for dead in his Senate campaign against Marco Rubio, Florida governor Charlie Crist has used the BP spill to show leadership and rise in the polls, writes Samuel P. Jacobs.

Read it at The Daily Beast

BP's Congressional Hypocrites

The Daily Beast's Benjamin Sarlin reports that some of the toughest questions for embattled CEO Tony Hayward at last week's congressional hearing came from House members who don't mind taking big checks from big oil. Plus, in a riveting story, The New York Times reports that the so-called last resort for oil rigs, blowout preventers, may not be the failsafe that the oil companies pretend they are. A 2000 report found that a jam or leak in a single valve could shut down the entire preventer, and a 2001 study by Transocean, which operated the Deepwater Horizon rig, found a failure rate of 45 percent. BP now says that every oil rig it contracts out comes with two blind shear rams, but Deepwater Horizon only had one—which BP says is because it had to carry its blowout preventer as it moved from well to well. The Minerals Management Service was supposed to require data to show that each rig's blowout preventers would work, but the man in charge of Deepwater Horizon's permit admits he approved it without proof.

Read it at The Daily Beast

Julian Assange Surfaces in Belgium

WikiLeaks elusive founder has surfaced: Julian Assange, the man whom the United States government is looking to speak with about classified information he may have, spoke on Monday in Brussels to the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. The exact nature of his talk is unclear, though the German-language website says he "expressed strong opposition to the introduction of a blocking-network infrastructure in the European Union." The Twitter handle jerezim says, "Julian Assange looks tired, but is alive and in good shape."

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