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View Diary: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #243 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe (329 comments)

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  •  UK Telegraph blisters Hayward & BP (17+ / 0-)

    One damning paragraph after another. The whole article is worth the read.

    As BP's share price more than halved and the leak continued to flow, the man who pledged to bring transparency to the oil industry declined to answer 65 questions about the cause of the accident at a political hearing – leading to claims of evasiveness and buck-passing.

    He was certainly making all the right noises. Just after the Texas explosion that killed 15 people, the oil giant's annual report mentioned safety 21 times in the hefty document. In Hayward's first annual report two years later, the word cropped up 100 times, and by last year, there were 150 nods in that direction.
    The City and media swallowed this promise whole, buying into the image of a reliable geologist and his steady – if slightly boring – pair of hands and hard hat.
    However, as the oil giant revealed a series of unsatisfactory financial results throughout 2007, it became clear that Hayward had begun to set his sights equally on ways to save money. Within months of joining, the new boss claimed to have uncovered layers of "fat" that were making the company too cautious.

    Dr Nansen Saleri, chief executive of Quantum Reservoirs and one of the world's leading experts on oil well management, believes that the accident was "entirely preventable".
    "The whole episode was systemic failure on a grand scale," he says. "The blow-out preventer was only one aspect. They are many other redundant elements in a robust safety management system. The first line of defence is not ever to let that kind of pressure build up. The reason this happened was a series of bad decisions about the well that are human-based and that completely disregarded risks."

    However, there's at least one man who stands by BP's record, even after the Gulf Coast spill. "I am proud of the improvement in safety since BP launched a comprehensive safety overhaul in 2007," Hayward wrote to staff last month. "Our recordable injury frequency has reduced by 29pc." Despite these claims, it will most likely be left to his successor, believed to be US chief Bob Dudley, to begin the public relations push on safety all over again.

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