Reason #183 BP’s cleanup was about PR from the very beginning…

Kneel before Zod, bitches!

Can’t you just imagine BP’s control room after the oil gushing into the Gulf  hit mainstream news worldwide?

Bunch of sweaty suits and PR flacks sitting around, not concerned about the truth per se, but more about how to spin what couldn’t be denied, that the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Coast were about to be really screwed, and for a long time… Oil companies had already become the bane of everyone’s existence as their profits skyrocketed even higher than gas prices. British Petroleum’s safety record was full of fuck-ups, their previous mishaps had killed their employees before and now, they had unleashed the mother of all fuck-ups and killed eleven more people.

Good lord was it ever public relations time! PR departments were invented for these kinds of situations.

No, British Petroleum would not admit this was their fault, but they would work with the Obama administration to come up with a $20 billion dollar compensation fund and they’d go all over the news to talk about making things right, about making the Gulf whole again…about doing whatever it could, as an ethical company to make sure this never happened again and also to mitigate the damages as much as technologically and humanly possible.

And they put their efforts all over the television, the radio, the internet.

Course, as we approach the two-year anniversary and all the mainstream new outlets are gone, as the American public has stopped paying attention…as public relations become increasingly unnecessary, British Petroleum has decided the oil spill was never their fault at all, and they want their money back, every last fucking dime from the real culprit…

Halliburton.

No, British Petroleum never meant to be the penitent company they played while the cameras were bright. That was just a show, a sham, a staged media event and now that nobody’s paying attention, now that fewer mainstream journalists are around to call them a bunch of fucking weasels…

British Petroleum is blaming everybody else.

And they’re suing Halliburton for the entire cost of cleanup – $42 billion dollars – and hey, even if the suit doesn’t work, maybe it’ll help them avoid a declaration of gross negligence, which would vastly increase their oil spill fine…

Disingenuous assholes.

Yes sir, British Petroleum is again engaging in the egotistical, do no wrong kind of behavior that makes an increasing percentage of Americans hate said oil companies or maybe a better way of putting it would be that as the media’s cameras turn off for good, BP is again free to be BP…an irresponsible, ethically challenged, profit before worker and environmental safety oil company who’ll try to do whatever it can to walk away from their clusterfuck of almost two years ago at the expense of…whomever.

Course, that’s just my opinion…

Read the article:

BP sues Halliburton over $42 billion oil spill bill

Have a nice day.

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BP, Batman and the Joker’s natural oil seeps…

So when British Petroleum says...

Okay…so riddle me this Batman:

In August, fresh oil slicks are discovered near the Macondo well site. BP denies they are there. The Coast Guard denies they are there. Bonnie Shumaker, pilot for Wings of Care flies out and takes pictures, proving the oil is there. BP then admits the oil is there as does the Coast Guard, after confirming BP admitted it too, but both say the oil is not from the Macondo reservoir. Then reporters from the Alabama Press Register take a boat out to the slicks, take samples, have it tested and sure enough, it is from the Macondo reservoir.

Hmm…

BP responds to this by sending an ROV down to look at the well-head. They don’t release the video, but they assure everyone still paying attention the well-head isn’t leaking, nope…not at all…it must be residual oil being released from the collapsed pipes and equipment on the seafloor. In response, Transocean sends an ROV down to check the collapsed pipes and equipment and says…nope, no oil leaking from there.

Hmm…

And this month, BP denies they are still checking into this oil. Then a pilot flies over, and confirms several large oil-related vessels operating at the surface above the Macondo well. BP says…oh, those ships, and yes, they then confirm they are conducting a study to track the oil from seabed to surface.

Track what from where?

In an emailed statement late Friday, a representative from BP verified that several vessels are in the vicinity of the Macondo well: “There are several vessels there participating in a study of natural oil seeps. This study has been ongoing for the past month or so. Data continues being collected and we provided an update on the natural oil seeps at the SETAC [Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry] conference in Boston this week. … The study is documenting the specific locations of these seeps and is seeking to track oil flow from seabed to surface,” BP wrote.

Natural oil seeps?

To which Stuart Smith, a New Orleans attorney replies:

If there are seeps in the area, they are not natural. I can assure you of that. BP was required to conduct a seafloor survey prior to applying for a permit to drill. If these seeps were not discovered during the survey – which they apparently weren’t – they must be related to the disaster and the heavy-handed methods used to attempt to seal the well.

To which BP quickly responds:

When we used the word “natural,” we meant it in the way that plastic surgery is meant to “naturally” erase the effects of aging, a bit of botox, a brow-lift, a cheekbone implant, a face-lift, a slight ear raise, and then the smallest of nose jobs…and voila! The seafloor is naturally leaking oil, natural as a smile from Jack Nicholson’s Joker…

Or in other words…

Robin: “Natural” is to nature, like animals are in nature and animals have fat…and this fat can be used to make soap and when we use soap, we typically are trying to remove dirt from our skin and what is skin but a part of the human body which is composed of 70% water, water like what’s found in the Gulf of Mexico…and all that Gulf water is above the seafloor…the seafloor! So what does it mean, Batman?”

Batman: “Obviously Boy Wonder, it means we need to have done what Stuart Smith suggests…a full survey of the seafloor around the Macondo Well so we will finally know what the hell is going on down there…”

Drake: “Seriously, how many times does BP get to creatively tell the truth?”

Read the article:

Breakthrough in the Macondo Mystery: BP Admits to New Activity at Deepwater Horizon Site

Have a nice day.

More about the (not) leaking Macondo Well…

is more than just what you can get the public to believe...

Ed Note: The USCG now taking a fresh look at pictures of the oil they previously denied was there.

Look, I’m not trying to play the role of conspiracy buff here, but if there is one thing any of us who follow the oil spill news knows, it is:

1. Truth takes a second place to narrative.

2. Order of response: deny everything, and if caught denying, then deny it again.

I think back to the arguments about flow rates, the toxicity of Corexit and whether it was still being used, about how much wildlife was being killed, the keeping of photographers and news people out of the spill zone, BP’s purchasing of scientists at universities, all the issues of transparency with the GCCF, the killing of cameras at the well head…etc…

It’s about the control of information, and with this control, the narrative can be manipulated in favor of BP, Feinberg, the government or whoever…whoever is paying the most to control said narrative.

So, keeping all that in mind, we come back to the question that Stuart Smith continues to investigate, what is going on at the Macondo Well? Is it leaking again? Is the sea floor rupturing?

Frankly, I sure as hell hope not, course my hopes are centered on the people and the environment of the region. I would imagine that BP really hopes not too, course…we know what their main concern is… Correct, the safety and welfare of adorable puppies and kittens worldwide, and especially in the Gulf. So, BP denies there is oil coming from the Macondo well site. BP denies they hired any boats to skim for oil. The Coast Guard (about as independent from BP as Feinberg) also denies the same things and so we can go back home now, get some rest, forget about it…

Yet, then we read:

BP’s Denial Upended: Gulf Flyover Surveillance Reveals Large Amount of Surface Oil at Deepwater Horizon Site

And then, the next day we read:

More Questions for BP: Why Is There a Massive Oil Production Vessel at the Deepwater Horizon Site?

And also:

Why hasn’t all the oil gone?

And one starts to wonder…

Are we fighting another narrative war, all over again?

Because BP and the Coast Guard denying any oil is leaking from the site of the Deepwater Horizon is a familiar one, it’s what they maintained days after the oil rig exploded and sank, days before the oil began to flow, days before their narrative was exposed as a facade.

Hopefully, that won’t be the case…again.

Have a nice day.

Hear the one about the sealed Macondo Well?

Bloody hell...

More oil in the Gulf of Mexico…

British Petroleum says it is investigating a new sheen of oil, but did not say where they have found said sheen. Nor did they say what is causing said sheen.

What they did say is it wasn’t found near “any existing BP operations,” oh, and they added “there is a lot of sheen in the Gulf of Mexico area” and that it didn’t necessarily come from a BP (Macondo) well.

But remember back in July, that sheen confirmed to have been most definitely found in the vicinity of the Macondo Well?

No?

Stuart Smith sure does:

“Oil from the Macondo Well site is fouling the Gulf anew – and BP is scrambling to contain both the crude and the PR nightmare that waits in the wings. Reliable sources tell us that BP has hired 40 boats from Venice to Grand Isle to lay boom around the Deepwater Horizon site – located just 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. The fleet rushed to the scene late last week and worked through the weekend to contain what was becoming a massive slick at the site of the Macondo wellhead, which was officially “killed” back in September 2010.”

Smith goes onto quote a letter written by BK Lim, a prominent geohazards specialist for thirty years. This letter was sent to US Reps Fred Upton and John Shimkus:

“There is no question that the oil seepages, gas columns, fissures and blowout craters in the seafloor around the Macondo wellhead… have been the direct result of indiscriminate drilling, grouting, injection of dispersant and other undisclosed recover activities. As the rogue well had not been successfully cemented and plugged at the base of the well by the relief wells, unknown quantities of hydrocarbons are still leaking out from the reservoir at high pressure and are seeping through multiple fault lines to the seabed. It is not possible to cap this oil leakage.”

So, while British Petroleum is now being very careful to not say where the oil is, or where it may have come from, perhaps it’s the right time for someone to compel them to say exactly what the hell is going on…

Or are we going to have another war over flow-rate estimates, all over again?

Read the articles:

BP investigating new oil sheen in Gulf of Mexico

Oil Rising Again from Macondo Well: BP Hires Fleet of 40 Shrimp Boats to Lay Boom Around Old Deepwater Horizon Site

Is BP’s Macondo Well Site Still Leaking? Fresh Oil on the Gulf Raises Concerns and Haunting Memories

Have a nice day.

Ed Note…BP and a Coast Guard official now say “the sheen was found near two abandoned exploration well sites in the Green Canyon Block in the Gulf of Mexico. According to an online map by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Green Canyon Block – a large square-shaped area of water south of Louisiana – is south and west of the Mississippi Canyon Block where BP’s Macondo well blew up.”

So…let the debate continue: is it 500 barrels a day or 36,000?

Now, have a nice day.

Ed Note, Part 2…Daren Beaudo, BP’s latest spokesman says no oil is leaking from the Macondo well and he denies any vessels were hired to clean up anything, per the report by Stuart Smith…as far as the sheen, “We think it’s silt from a subsurface shallow water pool,” Beaudo said.

So…let the debate continue: is it 5000 barrels a day or 46,000?

Silt.

That certainly is an answer.

Now, now, have a nice day.

Saving Time, Cutting Costs, Destroying Lives…a simple document

Time is money

Many discussions have been held regarding British Petroleum’s corporate climate, the cost cutting, the record of safety, the notion that this corporation did or did not balance the drive for profit above all else, and it will be debated for a long time to come. The National Oil Spill Commission spent a lot of time and money trying to determine what BP, Transocean and Halliburton did or did not do, and many environmental groups, politicians, heads of corporations and the residents of the Gulf Coast have their opinions on what they have released so far and certainly, the legal machines are getting their gears oiled up and ready to do their slow grind towards far distant financial conclusions.

Fine, but as ProPublica reported last week, an internal document from the oil spill commission that briefly made it online says a great deal in commonsense terms, breaking it all down. When one considers that the daily operations of the Macondo Well were running at $1.5 million dollars a day, a well which had yet to begin retrieving oil, BP was putting out a lot of money getting the thing up and running.

And bringing the well to production was taking a long time.

So we do the math and we take a look at what this internal document says about the decision making process on the Macondo Well. The document is titled “Various Decisions that May Have Increased Risk” and The Oil Spill Commission concluded that of the eleven key decisions, nine of them saved time.

Time is money.

But that’s not all, the Oil Spill Commission reports in this document that BP, Transocean and Halliburton’s decisions to not wait for more centralizers, not reevaluate cement slurry designs, not wait for foam stability results, not run diagnostics on float equipment, not running a cement evaluation log, not installing additional plugs or barriers, not undertaking simultaneous operations that could confound kick detection, using combined spacers without flushing them from the system and bypassing pits and flow out meters during displacements not only saved time, they also were more risky than alternative options.

Saving time, saves money and increases risk.

It can also create the conditions which lead to eleven dead and the destruction of an ecosystem.

Yet, last time I checked, nobody has even been brought up on charges and this little document, for whatever reason is not being reported on by a single mainstream national news outlet.

Have a nice day.

BP would never sacrifice safety for profit: a metaphor

Sorry kid, guess I needed more stabilizers...my bad

On November 8th, the White House Oil Commission’s Chief Counsel, Fred Bartlit said, “To date we have not seen a single instance where a human being made a conscious decision to favor dollars over safety.” On November 16th, the interim findings of a report done by the National Academy of Engineers and the National Resource Council said, “Many of the pivotal choices made for the drilling operation and temporary abandonment of the well were likely to result in less cost and less time relative to other options.”

Hmm…

So, British Petroleum designs a well, constructs a well, runs tests on their well, concludes all is safe because the company would never ever, ever sacrifice safety for profit, and the well blows up, killing eleven people, trashing an ecosystem and resulting in economic and physical sicknesses effecting five states…okay, what might we conclude from this?

British Petroleum isn’t criminal, they’re just stupid?

British Petroleum doesn’t make bad decisions for the intent of saving money and maximizing profit, they just make bad decisions?

The fact that the bad decisions they made, they seemed to not only save them money but also decreased safety on the well, this connection should be ignored?

Hmm…

Perhaps, a metaphor then?

If I know that the brakes on my car are going bad, but decide putting the brakes in myself is more cost-effective, and then I don’t run the proper tests to ensure the brakes are working correctly because I’m short on time, when I do get in the car and the brakes fail resulting in my car killing some kid on the sidewalk, do I get to claim stupidity?

No?

Well, why the hell not?

I never meant to kill that kid. I determined the brakes were put in right and I deemed my car safe. Perhaps this was a bad decision, but I certainly meant to do no harm. I certainly didn’t leave my house that morning with the intent of finding some kid on the sidewalk to run down. These were simple, technical errors. Maybe in my household, the climate of safety isn’t what it should be. Don’t worry, I’ll change the CEO, and I’ll institute a new climate and a new safety panel, one that will still answer to me of course, but it’ll change the climate, which is what is truly at fault here and you can’t prosecute a climate. I’ll give that kid’s family a few bucks too, so we’re all good right?

Look man, I just want my life back…

Oh, but you better let me still drive because if I can’t get to work I certainly can’t afford to give that kid’s family shit. The old CEO? No worries, he’s been properly punished, we made him relocate to Orlando and he took a substantial pay cut. Oh, did I mention I got a new car and I’m making profits again?

What do you mean vehicular manslaughter?

Well hell…do you have Bob Dudley’s phone number?

Maybe he’ll help me post bail.

Have a nice day.

BP Dares You to Care…Re-drilling?

Spill? Oh please, that was so last week...

With the lifting of the moratorium, oil rich eyes turn back to the Gulf of Mexico and the inevitable question was asked…will British Petroleum go after the remaining oil in the reservoir and tempt fate once again? BP officials wouldn’t comment on this, choosing to remain silent on their plans, but they are thinking about it.

C’mon, you know they are…

Back on August 6th, BP’s Chief Operating Officer, Doug Suttles said at a press briefing , “There’s lots of oil and gas here…we’re going to have to think about what to do with it at some point.” Experts estimate 100 million barrels of oil remain in the reservoir.

As the media shifts their coverage away from the Gulf, as people across the country stop paying attention, I would imagine British Petroleum exec’s are now doing some serious thinking. Will the hit they possibly take in the press be worth the profits of retrieving the oil? Would that hit be a one shot press story or would it still have enough resonance to entice editors and the publications’ owners to keep going with it?

I imagine the PR flacks at BP headquarters are pretty busy these days, trying to determine how much this country remembers and/or cares. They’re trying to figure out if the press story, “BP Re-taps Reservoir” would be the lead, or filler? Will it be on page one of the New York Times or page four, section B?

Hard to say right now, but I do know this: every day since that well has been capped, the balls of BP seem to get just a little bigger, new safety division or not, and each press cycle they stay largely free from appears to give them more freedom to just slap another ad on the television and go about making their plans…

Will they drill again?

Call me a cynic, but I’m putting my money on greed.

Read the article,

BP Silent On Future Plans In Gulf Of Mexico After Drilling Moratorium Lifted

Have a nice day.

In the Gulf: Commission Releases Information and I Don’t Feel Better

My fellow Americans, we were confused and mistaken...

The National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, in their released draft report, have found that members of Obama’s administration actively blocked the NOAA from releasing worst-case estimates of the amount of oil blowing out of the Macondo Well. The report also cited the infamous oil spill report which reported 75% of the oil was gone as creating a misleading impression to the American public.

You gotta go a long way to make people think fondly of the Bush Administration’s handling of past events, the difference between the two administrations being that Bushco – Inc. would have never let this report see the light of day. Ignorance is bliss? Just kidding…Obama at least, he’ll let the info come out after the fact, after the majority of the American people have long stopped paying attention, yet surprisingly enough before the mid-term elections.

Unfortunately, no matter when this kind of information comes out the result on our understanding of events is the same, and that effect is not the black and white of credibility this country needs in national tragedy, it is most certainly gray.

How are we supposed to trust the government to give us the truth in the Gulf of Mexico?

They misled us about the oil, so why should I, or anyone else believe they would tell me the truth now?

Why should I trust the safety of the seafood? Why should I think the beaches are safe? Why should I think it is okay to cut back the cleanup response, that BP will really be held responsible, that Jane Lubchenco of the NOAA isn’t a reincarnated Lee Harvey Oswald patsy? Why should I trust that people aren’t getting sick, that the air around the Gulf isn’t poisonous, that they have stopped spraying Corexit dispersant? Why should I believe government officials when they say fish kills aren’t connected to the spill, that the press still isn’t being kept out of the loop, that thousands of people all around the Gulf Coast don’t have to worry about about long term exposure to crude oil and the resulting potential of cancer?

In a nutshell, if you guys and gals said and/or implied that things were better than they were back then, how are we supposed to trust you in the future if/when things actually do improve?

Don’t misunderstand, I’m glad the commission released their information, we have a right to be informed about all of this, the good and the bad, the truth and their deceptions, but what the public needs now isn’t the truth from the commission, we need a mea-culpa from the guy in the oval office for our trust to begin rebuilding, and for the Obama administration to have a chance at better credibility in the future.

Will this happen?

ABC news reported yesterday, after the release of these findings two senior White House officials spoke with them and stated, that though they plead guilty, it was all an honest misunderstanding, “Nobody set out to ‘pull the wool over the country’s eyes,’ there was a point of confusion.”

That’s not quite the response I’d hoped for, no. So it would appear we’re stuck with the NOAA, British Petroleum and the Government giving us the status of the Gulf of Mexico. Nope, don’t feel better at all. Personally, I’m going to have to stick to the research results coming from University studies.

Far as I can tell, it’s the closest thing to the truth we got.

Read the article:

White House officials blocked early release of information on oil spill’s severity

Have a nice day.