BP: Seeps? Oil Plumes? Hazardous Materials? Dead Wildlife? Oil? What Oil?

Sand? What sand?

Not even sure they exist anymore, British Petroleum continues along their merry way. Despite pledging to “makes things whole” again by doing everything they can to clean up this mess, they instead continue to obfuscate, or deny. It’s actually a pretty good system and has been in play since the fateful decision early on to attack this spill with dispersants instead of skimmers. Skimmers show oil to the cameras… bad. Dispersants submerge it underwater creating oil plumes. Underwater? Good.

Plumes? What Plumes?

First, deny.

Second, hide.

Third, when given incontrovertible proof which can no longer be covered up, take the lead and pretend to have done so all along.

Right now, they are denying the existence of the government found “seeps” in the sea floor. Although Coast Guard National Incident Commander Thad Allen, or CGNICTA, has gone on record saying there are seeps on the ocean floor. BP spokesman Mark Proegler states “I’m not sure that we have (them).” He goes further, telling the press that since the government are the ones who have found seeps, go ask the government about it. Yeah, leave BP alone. What BP has is a perfectly functional well cap containment system. Did you or did you not get the press release?

The question of course is why the disconnect here, and several reasons could be in play. If British Petroleum admits there are seeps on the ocean floor this would imply the steel casing in the well head has been corrupted, something they would then have to address. This would leave BP two options: remove it, or allow the piping to be connected from the cap to ships on the surface to collect the oil. Neither of these options are good for their bottom line. Removing the cap puts them right back where they were before. Sure, the oil would again flow freely into the gulf, but more importantly BP has gotten some good press out of that cap for the first time in three months and as their shareholder meeting, scheduled for July 27th, is quickly approaching, they would like to see that good press continue. Good press is money. If the pipes are connected, allowing the ships on the surface to collect the oil, this is no good for BP either as then the government will get their flow count and have an accurate number of barrels released into the gulf.  If the number of barrels are known, then BP can no longer low-ball estimates and their fines will be drastically higher, no room for negotiation with lawyers. This will wind up costing BP a hell of a lot of money.

The best option for British Petroleum, the cheapest option for British Petroleum is to continue to stall while they work on the relief wells. Keep pushing off the feds and keep that cap sealed and in place. Once the relief wells are connected next month and hopefully seals this thing up for good, then the oil will have been stopped and the government never gets its flow count. Then the shareholders are happy and BP might once again someday stand for Beautiful People. Course there is a downside to this strategy: if the cap stays on, the leak everyone pretty much acknowledges is now there could get much worse. The pressure of this cap could force the oil to further damage the steel casings, possibly leak into pockets under the sea floor that will eventually rupture (if this hasn’t happened already) and then the relief wells might no longer work. Relief wells need the steel casings to back the cement into, plugging the leak. The equipment corrupted, the oil will find its way into the gulf around that cap until the oil reservoir is dry or they implode the well. In other words, if this happens then the Gulf of Mexico will be even more screwed than it already is now and BP will continue to stand for Bitter Parasites.

So, to review…for BP, admitting seeps is bad for their company, so they deny. Their best play is to deny, keep the well cap sealed until the relief wells arrive, in the meantime risking everyone in the Gulf, the wildlife and the ecosystem’s future for their bottom line.

Reasonable.

They’ve done that before.

Read the article from the Times Picayune:

BP: Seeps, what seeps?

Have a nice day.

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