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Roger Long
06-14-2010, 06:36 PM
Although there was long accident chain on this (B)eyond (P)erfidity oil spill, the proximate cause of the chain breaking appears to be the decision of one man to conduct the capping operation in a way that would have been risky on a good day with a normal well. This well had been troubled for it's whole history and there were warning signs just prior to the capping that would have prompted most reasonable people to take the most conservative possible approach.

Accounts from people at the meeting where the decision was made provide strong indication that the decision had as much to do with showing who was boss and whose were bigger as it did with cost savings and schedule. If the drilling mud had been left in the well, we might never heard of this rig. The critical decision comes down to one man.

I'm curious. Does this man have a name? Is he still employed? Does he just go to work every day? What is your life like after you have created an ecological and financial disaster of this magnitude? No reporters camped out on his doorstep? If he had spilled a drink on Lindsey Lohan in a bar, you can be sure there would be. Does anyone even know his name?

Paul Pless
06-14-2010, 06:50 PM
Chances are he's dead.

johnw
06-14-2010, 07:04 PM
Scary thought. Can we call him Dr. Strangelove until we know his real name?

Doug
Peter Sellers in no longer available to play him, and anyway, I think Jack D. Ripper is better. Or perhaps "Bat" Guano.

I suppose there will be long arguments about who is to blame, though my first impression was also that the decision you refer to was a possible proximate cause.

The thing that's capturing people's attention right now is BP, which prepared the spill plan, is demonstrating that in the real world they can't come close to achieving what they claimed they could do.

seanz
06-14-2010, 07:04 PM
Chances are he's dead.

Possibly, were the decisions that led to the disaster made on the rig or from an office?

John B
06-14-2010, 07:09 PM
I think the 'guilt' lies a bit further back in time from some guy trying to fix a problem.

johnw
06-14-2010, 07:15 PM
I doubt the decision made was made on deck. More likely, the boardroom.

Doug
I doubt decisions about when to extract the mud are made in the boardroom. It's an operational detail from their point of view.

johnw
06-14-2010, 07:18 PM
I think the 'guilt' lies a bit further back in time from some guy trying to fix a problem.
For something to go this wrong, there are usually a number of contributing factors. The question in my mind is, would those other factors have mattered if they hadn't made this final bad decision? He was probably relying on failsafes that had already failed.

John B
06-14-2010, 07:29 PM
What I read shortly after it happened was about a fiscal descision made to allow a lesser failsafe than what was recommended or what was historically regarded as the minimum.
That decision was made by by government or local govt. after lobbying by the company or contractor.
If thats true, then thats the point where 'guilt' lays. The failure to recognise the scope of a potential problem.. she'll be right.

sailboy3
06-14-2010, 07:30 PM
He's the BP guy who wanted to push a head with a quick and dirty operation so in a meeting shortly before the explosion, from what I've heard.

htom
06-14-2010, 07:47 PM
Don't know if this is news or finger pointing; the parts I know about are correct. http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/costly_time-consuming_test_of.html

johnw
06-14-2010, 07:48 PM
This guy:

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/safety_fluid_was_removed_befor.html

is who Roger is talking about.

ishmael
06-14-2010, 08:01 PM
Nicely written, Roger.

I dunno. It's what, two months now, and they ain't got it stoppered yet. I don't blame failures of government, BP, Obama or what have you. I think it's had everyone scratching their heads.

What do you do with a well head broken off a mile below the surface? We obviously don't know just what to do.

Could someone, somewhere along the line, have made better decisions?Probably. That will come out in the wash.

skipper68
06-14-2010, 09:11 PM
Maybe if you read more than the first two posts and opened a link once in a while you'd have a friggen clue. You are a moron. A drunk moron.

Dougpay no attention to the horrid little man in the diaper,he's p***d cause hes a born again drunk. i enjoy your posts..the bilge,lay down with dogs,wake up with disTEMPER!!lol :D

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-15-2010, 07:17 AM
Although there was long accident chain on this (B)eyond (P)erfidity oil spill, the proximate cause of the chain breaking appears to be the decision of one man to conduct the capping operation in a way that would have been risky on a good day with a normal well. This well had been troubled for it's whole history and there were warning signs just prior to the capping that would have prompted most reasonable people to take the most conservative possible approach.

Accounts from people at the meeting where the decision was made provide strong indication that the decision had as much to do with showing who was boss and whose were bigger as it did with cost savings and schedule. If the drilling mud had been left in the well, we might never heard of this rig. The critical decision comes down to one man.

I'm curious. Does this man have a name? Is he still employed? Does he just go to work every day? What is your life like after you have created an ecological and financial disaster of this magnitude? No reporters camped out on his doorstep? If he had spilled a drink on Lindsey Lohan in a bar, you can be sure there would be. Does anyone even know his name?

Roger, I can answer your question, because I had a friend who was accused of doing much the same thing.

He was accused of causing a spill of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil, almost all of which hit a sensitive coastline, by the media of France, Britain, the United States and his native Germany.

I know how he felt, because he told me. He was very angry, very
depressed, eventually almost resigned to the accusation.

His employers stood behind him throughout and they had good lawyers, one of whom was our mutual friend Dick Stone.

He never gave up, and after seven years he was completely exonerated.

His personal and professional life was never the same, though.

I think you can see the moral of this story.

Ian McColgin
06-15-2010, 07:48 AM
Same moral as for Capt Hazelwood?

Even when one person's act does lead to the event, that act may or may not be in isolation from or independent of the corporate culture. There are two sorts of accidents: The "true accident" where people are doing as well as can be but stuff goes wrong; and the "culpable accident" where for example there may be dozens of drunk drivers abroad on Saturday night but only one kills anyone.

We've yet to have the full investigation that tells us which type caused this mess, but BP's past convictions, the stated worries of some of the rig's workers, and the post accident misrepresentations as to the size of the spill and availablility of clean-up resourses mean that I, for one, would not be surprised if this accident was the forseeable result of corporate decisions. I'd hate to see one scapegoat protecting a culture of feckless irresponsibility.

johnw
06-15-2010, 01:16 PM
Roger, I can answer your question, because I had a friend who was accused of doing much the same thing.

He was accused of causing a spill of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil, almost all of which hit a sensitive coastline, by the media of France, Britain, the United States and his native Germany.

I know how he felt, because he told me. He was very angry, very
depressed, eventually almost resigned to the accusation.

His employers stood behind him throughout and they had good lawyers, one of whom was our mutual friend Dick Stone.

He never gave up, and after seven years he was completely exonerated.

His personal and professional life was never the same, though.

I think you can see the moral of this story.
Which is why I don't mind seeing the guy's identity kept quiet until the investigation is further along. A disaster like this usually needs several things to go wrong, and even if this was the proximate cause, there will doubtless be others to share the blame.

Roger Long
06-15-2010, 03:17 PM
I think you can see the moral of this story.

Please remind me, why did that ship go aground?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-15-2010, 04:11 PM
This is roughly correct; I could expand it a lot, but it will do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoco_Cadiz

ishmael
06-15-2010, 04:32 PM
Is anyone here a engineer familiar with this sort of spout? I'm not, and I don't think anyone is. Everyone wants to see it stopped. Is there an easy answer? None apparent.

Pointing fingers might feel good in the short run, but that oil is still running, and it still takes gasoline to run my truck.

johnw
06-15-2010, 05:00 PM
Is anyone here a engineer familiar with this sort of spout? I'm not, and I don't think anyone is. Everyone wants to see it stopped. Is there an easy answer? None apparent.

Pointing fingers might feel good in the short run, but that oil is still running, and it still takes gasoline to run my truck.
Clan Gordon provides some excellent insight in this thread:

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?t=115131