BOEM approves plans for BP to drill new, deeper wells. Offshore drilling still too risky. Protesting BP in Houston. Feinberg gives a bit on claims, but may be audited.
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Well, that was rather quick. Are you sure we want to trust these guys? I didn't think so. But there it is... BOEM approved and everything. (You know, the new and improved BOEMRE.)
The Bureau of Energy Management on Friday approved a supplemental exploration plan for BP to drill four wells in about 6,000 feet of water... 192 miles off the Louisiana coast after revisions were made to a previously approved drilling plan for its Kaskida prospect.
(We'll get to this water thing in a minute...)
The move expands BP’s government-approved 2008 plan to drill up to five wells at the site by allowing the company to drill two more wells and change the location of two others.
Safety? In water a thousand feet deeper than the Macondo wellhead? Tommy Beaudreau, the director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, says oil people are going to do it right this time. No, no...really, they are. They promise...
Offshore drilling regulators are “dedicated to ensuring that the development of the nation’s energy resources is conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” said Beaudreau. “Our review of BP’s plan included verification of BP’s compliance with the heightened standards that all deepwater activities must meet.”
BP said that it is indeed true. They intend to be saintly when it comes to safety. Cut corners to save a nickel more in profit? Ain't gonna happen. They have learned their lesson like good little rat bastards...
“Drilling at Kaskida would be subject to BOEMRE requirements and BP’s voluntary standards we developed from lessons learned after the Deepwater Horizon accident,” the company said in a statement. “These voluntary standards exceed current government requirements.”
Voluntary? Exceeding government requirements? Have we missed something? You guys at BP are now moonlighting as comedy writers, right?
We. Don't. Believe. Anything. You. Say.
“BP said that with the approval of its revised exploration plan for Kaskida, the oil company now would be “working through the regulatory process for an application for permit to drill” — the essential next step in launching work on wells at the field.
Really, Walter? You trust them? Why, for FSM's sake? Do you actually think they have changed? Or maybe just gotten a little better at being criminals, hmm...
At least one of our few good guys in Congress says the permitting process is going too fast, but he is probably only flying the flag, and can't really do anything. He's correct, though.
“Comprehensive safety legislation hasn’t passed Congress, and BP hasn’t paid the fines they owe for their spill, yet BP is being given back the keys to drill in the Gulf,” said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
Federal regulators have approved 43 wells since the moratorium on drilling after the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Although this is the first approval for BP under its own name, several BP partners have continued with business as usual. And, man, do they ever want to get back out there in the Gulf...
While BP has not drilled a new well since the 2010 oil spill, several of its Gulf projects have quietly moved forward. For instance, the Mad Dog South field, which BP operates with a 60.5 percent stake, recently was drilled by minority partner BHP Billiton Petroleum and proved to have a giant stash of oil. Last year, BP essentially transferred the operatorship of its Tubular Bells field to Hess Corp. in a $40 million deal that cut its stake in the field from 50 percent to 30 percent.
Okay. Now for the really crappy part, which was referenced in the opening paragraphs. These new exploratory wells are deep - really deep.
BP’s newly proposed wells would be drilled in roughly 6,019 and 6,034 feet of water — about 1,030 feet deeper than Macondo. The company has estimated that in case of an emergency, it would take 184 days to drill a relief well at the site. Other interventions — including a system for containing runaway underwater wells — also would be available, BP said.
BP has not changed. They are not afraid of fines - it's factored into the cost of doing "bidness". The corporate culture has not varied one whit from the attitude that existed up to the second the Deepwater Horizon exploded.
There will be another blowout. More people will die. And 184 more days of oil will flood the Gulf.
Nothing has changed. Nothing.
At least we aren't just howling at the moon by ourselves...
The environmental advocacy group Oceana said Friday that all the lip-service being paid to new "safety" requirements for offshore/deepwater drilling is just that - all talk - and the "new" regulations are too lax to have prevented the Macondo blowout.
“When you compare the new rules to the things that went wrong on the BP rig, it’s obvious that those same problems could go terribly wrong again, in spite of the so-called safety rules,” said Oceana senior campaign director and senior scientist Jacqueline Savitz. “The chance of a devastating spill is just as high as a year and a half ago.”
Speaking at the same conference, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stressed the government’s “oil and gas reforms” since the 2010 spill.
“We must not forget the lessons of Deepwater Horizon,” he said. “We must press forward with our oil and gas reforms. We must keep our commitment to Gulf Coast restoration and reinvest the penalties where they belong.”
Mr. Salazar, the only way you could say less is to talk longer...
In the report, Oceana repeated the position that nothing has actually changed in the way oil producers will go about drilling in extreme environments. The report specifically targets blowout preventers as often ineffective and prone to failure, but producing a false sense of security that deep/extreme drilling can be rendered "safe".
Specifically, Oceana flagged possible problems with the blowout preventers that are used as last-ditch emergency blockades against uncontrolled surges of oil and gas from wells. A government-led probe of the blowout preventer used to secure the Macondo well concluded in March that powerful blind shear rams on the device were unable to completely slash through slightly off-center drill pipe, seal the well hole and trap oil and gas underground.
The report was presented at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference held in Miami last week.
The Oceana report is here: False Sense of Safety: Safety Measures Will Not Make Offshore Drilling Safe. (Warning: PDF)
Pointing out that BP has failed to settle with thousands of victims of the Macondo gusher, protesters targeted BP’s Houston headquarters Thursday.
Operation People for Peace made Houston its fourth stop on a protest that included BP facilities in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. But they failed in their goal to meet with the chairman of BP America, Lamar McKay.
Security officials at BP headquarters told the 25 or so protestors to either take their claims up with Kenneth Feinberg,or to attend the BP stockholder's meeting next spring.
The protesters, including human rights activists Dick Gregory, Art Rocker, chairman of Operation People for Peace, and E. Faye Williams, chairwoman of the National Congress of Black Women, were joined by activists from Occupy Houston.
Gregory called BP "rats and roaches". Thank you, Mr. Gregory; I most heartily agree...
“We are in it to win it,” Gregory said. “We will treat them, now that we know how dirty they play, like rats and roaches and mice in a dark room. You don’t shoot ‘em, you don’t cuss ‘em, you turn the light on.”
So, take it up with Feinberg, huh?
After fielding complaints from fishermen suffering the worst shrimp season ever (wonder why...) Jefferson Parish president John Young said Friday he was able to get Kenneth Feinber to promise more help from the $20 billion BP compensation fund.
Okay. He promised. He's promised a lot of things. BFD.
According to Young, Feinberg has agreed to three major commitments. His team will now identify and expedite claims from Louisiana fishers, oyster farmers and shrimpers directly affected by the oil spill that followed the April 2010 explosion of a drilling platform above BP's Macondo well. Feinberg will also begin holding "claims days," which Young described as in-person meetings between claimants and those with decision-making power over the compensation fund.
I'll believe it when I can gnaw on it with my very own teeth.
And then there's this, Kenny...
The U.S. attorney general would be legally required to appoint an independent auditor for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility under an amendment added to a Senate spending bill early Friday morning.
Have at it. Audit away. Like it will make a damn bit of difference. Those foxes already have total control of the henhouse...
PLEASE visit Pam LaPier's diary to find out how you can help the Gulf now and in the future. We don't have to be idle! And thanks to Crashing Vor and Pam LaPier for working on this!
Previous Gulf Watcher diaries:
|10-21-11 06:42 PM||Gulf Watchers Block Party - What Was Your First (or Most Unusual) Job?||Lorinda Pike|
|10-19-11 03:44 PM||Gulf Watchers Wednesday - BP not banned from new leases - BP Catastrophe AUV #564
|10-14-11 06:30 PM||GW Block Party: Nostalgia Edition; RIP Steve Jobs||Phil S 33|
|10-12-11 06:19 PM||Gulf Watchers Wednesday - BP Could Create an Even Bigger Disaster - BP Catastrophe AUV #563||shanesnana|
|10-09-11 02:07 PM||Gulf Watchers Sunday - The Tainted Pieces Are Coming Together - BP Catastrophe AUV #562||Lorinda Pike|
|10-07-11 06:20 PM||Gulf Watchers Block Party: Trek to NASA Edition||BlackSheep1|
Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.
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