Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Emptywheel, who turns out to know something about oil rig safety (and evasions thereof) as well as about torture, posts on the BP disaster last weekend that left 11 dead, and notes that BP's rig safety has been wanting in the past. She relays this ...
BP Exploration & Production, which owns the deep water rig that exploded last week in the Gulf of Mexico, was cited in 2007 for inadequately training employees in well control, according to the US Minerals Management Service.

The conditions of the training are the same as those suspected in the possible blowout aboard the TransOcean Deepwater Horizon, which left 11 workers missing and presumed dead.

MMS slapped BP with $41,000 in fines in October 2007 after a series of violations related to a near-blowout five years earlier. In November 2002, the Ocean King rig, operated by Diamond Offshore Drilling, in the Gulf had to evacuate all 65 of its workers for nearly two days after operators detected a dangerous rise in gas pressure. The rig, which had been drilling at a depth of more than 5,000 feet, didn’t resume work for nearly a week, according to the MMS report.

Unlike last week’s disaster, workers were able to keep the well from leaking by using cement and mud to plug the well. The same subcontractor, Diamond Offshore, was also used when BP was fined $25,000 in 2004 for bypassing a gas detection system while drilling. A BP spokesman in London says the company still uses Diamond Offshore as a contractor.
... and shares this satellite image:
Looks to me that spill is about the size of NOLA.

One would think that this disaster, following on the heels of the West Virginia coal mine disaster, would suggest some need to review safety procedures in the world of fossil-fuel mining. But no.

1 comment:

  1. I think I heard on NPR that the spill is the size of Rhode Island, but may be remembering it wrong.