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View Full Version : British based Petroleum company found guilty of deliberate toxic waste dumping



Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-23-2010, 12:07 PM
Not BP, of course; they are a respectable multinational.

Trafigura; set up with help from Marc Rich, the well known friend of the US Attorney General who is so keen on prosecuting BP

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

If you want to know what the ugly face of the oil industry REALLY looks like, look here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-10735255

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-23-2010, 05:57 PM
BUMP!

So nobody here, with the solitary, honourable, exception of Ian McColgin, gives a flying fxxx about a few thousand Africans, poisoned because these stinking bar stewards, who were making seven million dollars a cargo, were too mean to pay the port of Amsterdam US$400,000 to dispose of the residues properly.

None of the purveyors of synthetic outrage over the Macondo spill can be bothered with this real scandal.

Not even George.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-23-2010, 06:04 PM
Heard it at about 6am - was a little surprised that they'd been tried in Holland rather than the UK and similarly at the small size of the fines - but really this is the end of an old(ish) story.

purri
07-23-2010, 08:46 PM
It's "Darwinist capitalism" to the media and marketplace. Thet don't give a FRA.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-24-2010, 02:27 AM
Heard it at about 6am - was a little surprised that they'd been tried in Holland rather than the UK and similarly at the small size of the fines - but really this is the end of an old(ish) story.

They were tried in Holland and convicted under the Basel Convention for exporting the wastes from Amsterdam, where they had originally taken them. They have an office in Holland.

Far from being the end of the story this is the first time the lawyered up bar stewards have been convicted of anything - they are appealing.

WX
07-24-2010, 02:42 AM
This is not the first time news of a ship dumping toxic waste in Africa has been mentioned here. Just another Africans don't count story.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-24-2010, 03:34 AM
....they are appealing.

There's a sentence with two very different meanings.

Perhaps the appeal should be on a "Double or Quits" basis.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-24-2010, 05:43 AM
Double would not be enough - the fine is one percent of their turnover.

These are the porcines who attempted to gag, not merely the Press, but Parliament, with a "super-injunction" when their own expert witnessess' report, which damns them utterly, was leaked.

See Wikileaks, whom God preserve, under "Minton report".

skuthorp
07-24-2010, 06:24 AM
They were tried in Holland and convicted under the Basel Convention for exporting the wastes from Amsterdam, where they had originally taken them. They have an office in Holland.

Far from being the end of the story this is the first time the lawyered up bar stewards have been convicted of anything - they are appealing.
Not nearly enough, the bs need to be held personally and permanently responsible, their lawyers too.

WX
07-26-2010, 07:46 PM
I was under the impression that the oil well responsible for the Gulf spill is actually run by 3 oil companies, one of which is Haliburton. As for an adequate plan in place for such a spill, name one oil company that does?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill

johnw
07-26-2010, 08:00 PM
BUMP!

So nobody here, with the solitary, honourable, exception of Ian McColgin, gives a flying fxxx about a few thousand Africans, poisoned because these stinking bar stewards, who were making seven million dollars a cargo, were too mean to pay the port of Amsterdam US$400,000 to dispose of the residues properly.

None of the purveyors of synthetic outrage over the Macondo spill can be bothered with this real scandal.

Not even George.

Some of us have lives and spend our weekends with boats, then have work to do when we get in on Monday. This past weekend was the CWB Homebuilt Boats weekend, and those of us who took part in that had no time for the internet.

One more time: Who cares where the company is from? Americans care more about the BP spill because it's hitting their shores.

I'm certainly glad someone is paying attention to the dumping going on in third-world countries. I suspect that usually, we never hear about it, they just pay their bribes and dump the stuff. However, it does my opinion of you no good to see you using this tragedy to criticize Americans for wanting to enforce American law where BP is concerned. Two wrongs don't make a right, as Roy Rogers used to say.

johnw
07-26-2010, 08:06 PM
I was under the impression that the oil well responsible for the Gulf spill is actually run by 3 oil companies, one of which is Haliburton. As for an adequate plan in place for such a spill, name one oil company that does?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill
It's owned by three companies. Anadarko is the American one, BP is the multinational, and there's a Japanese company as well. Haliburton was the contractor for cementing the well. My mother sold her Haliburton stock as soon as she heard the first reports on the blowout, because they were among the first to get blamed for it, and she figured they'd be on the hook for a big part of the liability. Don't know if she was right, but they certainly got plenty of bad press about it. Anadarko may not have the money for their end of the liability, so they want to hang the whole thing on BP. There are plenty of fingers pointing every which way.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-28-2010, 05:52 AM
I think Mitsui and Co are big boys and can be named - they have been around since the 1570's, after all, and are not a small outfit.;) They have 10% of the Macondo well and Anadarko have 25%. To judge by the cost of their credit default swaps, the bond market thinks Anadarko may struggle to pay their share. Mitsui can pay their 10% out of the petty cash. BP hold the remaining 65%.

Now, looking a bit further -

Yesterday we got BP's 2Q figures so we can see what estimate they are putting on the whole thing - they have reserved US$32.5Bn, causing them to declare the biggest loss in the history of the UK stock market, but that's about the size of it; they can claim tax relief on the loss after all, and the rest of their business is in good health.

BP have announced those figures on the working assumption that a finding of gross negligence won't be made against them.

That's probably correct, in which case Anadarko and Mitsui will have to pay up. Anadarko are alleging gross negligence because that is the only legal basis on which they can get out of paying, but iirc there were more Anadarko people on the rig than BP people.

Halliburton were doing the cementing and I guess that the cementing is an issue because the blowout took place 16 hours after the last cementing - the point being that cement setting is exothermic and can kick off degradation of methane hydrates. That's not the same thing as saying the blowout is Halliburton's fault, of course.

There seem to be a whole assortment of allegations and counter-allegations surrounding the failed BOP stack, made by Cameron, and I guess we will have to wait until the well is finally plugged and the BOP recoevered for investigation before anyone gets to the bottom of those.

And finally there are another set of allegations surrounding the way the semisub rig, owned by Transocean, was operated.

At the moment BP are paying for everything, which is their duty as the lead contractor on the Macondo well, but they have a contractual right of recovery, in the absence of gross negligence on their part, from Mitsui and from Anadarko, and if there was negiligence on the part of Halliburton and/or Cameron and/or Transocean BP would have a right of recovery against them too.

There is also the question of the forum for all this litigation - Louisiana or Texas?

Meanwhile, its an ill wind that blows nobody any good:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38433060

Art Read
07-28-2010, 06:54 AM
No offense, Andrew, but on this particular issue, you seem "out of character". I know that you are personally concerned with the marine industry in general and tankers in particular, but other than a sense of "patriotic duty to defend", what is your involvement with the BP disaster? From a disinterested perspective, it would appear you have "skin in the game". For the sake of your credibility, perhaps a little full disclosure?

(For what it's worth, I feel badly for EVERYONE who has been adversely affected by this. Residents, tourism workers, fishermen, BP and other oilfield employees, shareholders and pensioners, the incredible gulf flora and fauna and even those forgotten eleven guys who died that day... and their families.)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-28-2010, 07:23 AM
Art - that's a perfectly fair question and I'm not offended at all.

I don't have any particular contact with BP these days; although my employers do have ships on charter to BP I am not concerned with those ships.

Nor indeed have I had much contact with BP in the past - I did work for a well regarded offshore contractor but we worked mostly for Shell and to some extent for Exxon Mobil and Chevron as well as for Arab and Japanese firms. I used to run tankers and again they were mostly chartered to Shell and to Chevron/Caltex, but also to Japanese and Korean firms. I did recruit a significant number of ex-BP ships officers to run those tankers and found them quite excellent.

I don't have shares in BP and never have had although I am quite sure that my pension fund does - same goes for almost anybody's pension fund, I would think.

I have spent quite a part of my life dealing with the legal and financial aspects of oil spills, including very big ones. It is fair to say that the USA has been much "luckier" than Europe in terms of the amount of oil spilled in its littoral seas. I have posted links to this sort of information before, quite extensively.

I was not involved in the Exxon Valdez oilspill, although I "heard about it" professionally in addition to reading about it.

Thus I had some idea of the way in which the USA reacts to an oil spill, but my reason for this series of postings is that although I am personally familiar with the extent to which any oil spill becomes at the same time an opportunity to make money for lots of people and an opportunity for displays of environmental self-righteousness by people who continue to drive their cars, I am dismayed by the insanely over-the -top reactions in this case.

I note, without surprise, that the degree of outrage increases with distance from the coastline actually affected.

The US Senate proposing to hold "hearings" on the release of Megrahi and being "offended" by the failure of the Attorney General for Scotland, the ex Minister of Justice for the UK and the ex MD of BP to fly to Washington at their expense for the pleasure of being abused by a bunch of US politicians on something which is none of their business is just the icing on the cake.

Art Read
07-28-2010, 07:34 AM
Fair enough. Thanks for the reply. I agree with much of what you have been saying, btw... One question though, just out of curiosity. What would the public reaction there have been had Joe Hazelwood run the Exxon Valdez up on the Lizard instead of Bligh Reef? I know the the circumstances are different, but you must understand the sentiment?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-28-2010, 09:03 AM
Art - a short answer would be that the Torrey Canyon and the Amoco Cadiz were both American owned and run although flying flags of convenience (both Masters were Italian) and the worst offshore accident in history - the Piper Alpha platform fire - was on a North Sea production platform owned and run by Occidental, a US company.

Conversely the Bantry Bay disaster involved a French tanker, the Betelgeuse, which was shockingly badly maintained and broke in two and blew up whilst discharging, and the Braer was a Norwegian controlled tanker en route to the USA.

If you put these names into Google, you will be able to form your own view, which would be probably better than my offering you mine.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-28-2010, 11:18 AM
You're really too much, Andrew. Synthetic outrage? Are you suggested that the events in the gulf aren't a "real scandal"? Tell that to the thousands of people on the gulf coast who've lost their livelihoods, perhaps forever, as a result of BP's negligence.

I see you live in California.



And it's humorous how you insist on calling it "the Macondo spill" rather than the "BP spill." Macondo is simply the name of the oil and gas prospect where the well was drilled. It's much more useful and accurate to refer to BP ... their negligence created the spill, and their failure to have an adequate plan in place to deal with an incident like this has created the largest "accidental" oil spill in history. Residents of the United States are rightly angry with British Petroleum, but that's not an attack on the British. Get over it.

Let me try once again to educate and to inform:

1: It's by no means the largest accidental oil spill in history; its not even the largest oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

2. If this is "The BP Oil Spill", shall we now refer to:

The Unocal Oil Spill, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrey_Canyon ,

The Amoco Oil Spill, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoco_Cadiz

The Gulf Oil Oil Spill, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoco_Cadiz

The Mobil Oil Spill, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Atlantic_Empress

Another Unocal Oil Spill, http://www.incidentnews.gov/incident/6232

An Oil Spill that Nobody will Own Up To, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prestige_oil_spill

A Total OIl Spill, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erika_(tanker))

Another Total Oil Spill, with Gulf Oil Also Involved, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betelgeuse_incident

The Texaco Oil Spill http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Empress

The Pemex Oil Spill http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixtoc_I_oil_spill

etc?

Larry P.
07-28-2010, 11:39 AM
Andrew you are wasting your breath. The "facts" of the spill have already been set by the media hounds. As I have said before I can't comment on the drilling operation, but the clean up measures seem to be pretty much sop. In my opinion there is some negligence in the initial spill response. There should have been more resources dedicated sooner, but again this is not all that unusual, the people who sign the checks almost seem to always underestimate the initial needs of an incident and it almost always comes back to haunt them.

Curtism
07-28-2010, 01:49 PM
Andrew, I appreciate all the knowledge you’ve been sharing on the topic of oil production and transporting. Your opinions have been quite enlightening, to say the least.

I’m curious about this comment you made though:
“I note, without surprise, that the degree of outrage increases with distance from the coastline actually affected.”
What do you base this assertion on? And, why are you not surprised?

Also, how are you determining the extent of coast that was actually affected? And how far would a US citizen, or anyone else for that matter, have to live from that affected area before they should relinquish their right to be outraged by the Gulf debacle?

You started this thread questioning the lack of outrage expressed in the US over the waste dumping in Africa by a British based company that is not a “respected multinational” (chuckle) and now your criticizing someone for having opinions about the Gulf mess because they live in California. I’m not sure I understand your reasoning here.

Curtis

johnw
07-28-2010, 02:24 PM
I think Mitsui and Co are big boys and can be named - they have been around since the 1570's, after all, and are not a small outfit.;) They have 10% of the Macondo well and Anadarko have 25%. To judge by the cost of their credit default swaps, the bond market thinks Anadarko may struggle to pay their share. Mitsui can pay their 10% out of the petty cash. BP hold the remaining 65%.

Now, looking a bit further -

Yesterday we got BP's 2Q figures so we can see what estimate they are putting on the whole thing - they have reserved US$32.5Bn, causing them to declare the biggest loss in the history of the UK stock market, but that's about the size of it; they can claim tax relief on the loss after all, and the rest of their business is in good health.

BP have announced those figures on the working assumption that a finding of gross negligence won't be made against them.

That's probably correct, in which case Anadarko and Mitsui will have to pay up. Anadarko are alleging gross negligence because that is the only legal basis on which they can get out of paying, but iirc there were more Anadarko people on the rig than BP people.

Halliburton were doing the cementing and I guess that the cementing is an issue because the blowout took place 16 hours after the last cementing - the point being that cement setting is exothermic and can kick off degradation of methane hydrates. That's not the same thing as saying the blowout is Halliburton's fault, of course.

There seem to be a whole assortment of allegations and counter-allegations surrounding the failed BOP stack, made by Cameron, and I guess we will have to wait until the well is finally plugged and the BOP recoevered for investigation before anyone gets to the bottom of those.

And finally there are another set of allegations surrounding the way the semisub rig, owned by Transocean, was operated.

At the moment BP are paying for everything, which is their duty as the lead contractor on the Macondo well, but they have a contractual right of recovery, in the absence of gross negligence on their part, from Mitsui and from Anadarko, and if there was negiligence on the part of Halliburton and/or Cameron and/or Transocean BP would have a right of recovery against them too.

There is also the question of the forum for all this litigation - Louisiana or Texas?

Meanwhile, its an ill wind that blows nobody any good:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38433060
Thanks for that summation, Andrew. I didn't mention Mitsui because I couldn't remember them, and I'm busy enough at work at the moment that I didn't have time to look them up. Exxon became a much safer after the Valdez spill, though their name remains blackened by the memory of it. I expect the same will happen with BP.

George Jung
07-28-2010, 02:31 PM
Did anyone catch the news on BP's 'island drilling' in the far northseas? It seems they got licensure as a land-based well, when in fact any spill would be ocean. It also seems this is being 're-evaluated' now that the oil has hit the fan in the Gulf.

The news story didn't get into it much; I'd be surprised if this went forward, as is.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-28-2010, 04:51 PM
George - there is a quite well established method of drilling in shallow sea areas subject to seasonal pack ice whereby you build an artificial island and locate your rig on that - I'm sure you can see why.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-28-2010, 05:11 PM
Exxon became a much safer after the Valdez spill, though their name remains blackened by the memory of it. I expect the same will happen with BP.

One of the conceptual difficulties that the British have with this saga is that, certainly up to the Bob Horton era, BP were seen as a very "engineering minded", technocratic, oil company. As Peerie Ma and Clan Gordon have pointed out, there was a "night of the long knives" in Brittanic House (BP head office) engineering after the "Seillean". None the less, there were very very few dramas in BP's North Sea operations or in their tanker operations.

I was chatting today to an American friend, Fred D., who is a former Exxon staffer; he points out that John Browne was the ultimate "big picture" man, who would not get interested in process stuff like safety, and that no proper attempt was made to integrate Amoco after the merger. Amoco's corporate culture was very different to BP's. Although Amoco were the junior partner in the merger, there were (and are) more Amoco staff and the tail has tended to wag the dog.

Fred thinks that this accident will have the effect of forcing a showdown between the BP and the Amoco ways of doing things.

George Jung
07-28-2010, 08:12 PM
Andrew, I know little about the oil enterprise. The 'news piece' I saw suggested this was a new approach - and that rules/regs should apply for ocean exploration, instead of what they negotiated for - a land based approach.

Undoubtedly, the Gulf spill has empowered questioning of that strategy.

Curtism
07-29-2010, 12:19 PM
Here's an article from the New York Times about the Alaska drilling project.


The future of BP (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/bp_plc/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s offshore oil (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/o/oil_spills/gulf_of_mexico_2010/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) operations in the Gulf of Mexico has been thrown into doubt by the recent drilling disaster and court wrangling over a moratorium.

But about three miles off the coast of Alaska, BP is moving ahead with a controversial and potentially record-setting project to drill two miles under the sea and then six to eight miles horizontally to reach what is believed to be a 100-million-barrel reservoir of oil under federal waters.

Read more:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/us/24rig.html?_r=1&hpw

Curtis