Saturday, 19 June 2010

People in White Houses shouldn't throw stones

Without downplaying the extent of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in any way I am enraged, but not surprised, by the bullying reaction of Obama & the United States mouthpieces in general. BP have handled this all wrong by grovelling. The way you handle bullies is to be aggressive.

Of course BP should, & did, apologise. But the USA should be reminded that when the American owned Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea blew up on July 8th 1988 killing 167 people the British Government didn't go in for hysterical US bashing.

And what about Bhopal where, due to the American Union Carbide's negligence, on Dec 3rd 1984 thousands of 'small people' were killed & many thousands more are still suffering today. And where is the Union Carbide [now Dow Chemical Corporation] $20billion compensation for them whilst the UC Chairman at the time enjoys a luxurious retirement?

And whilst on the subject of 'small people' why on earth did no one in BP have the guts to point out to the Americans that the Chairman of BP is Swedish, who is therefore speaking in a foreign language, & how many pig thick US Executives struggle with intelligible American let alone a foreign tongue.

Following the Piper Alpha disaster the UK government commissioned an investigation leading to the Cullen report. This recommended that a back up system to the main well-head blow-out preventer (for natural gas and crude oil sub-sea well-heads) should be installed in UK waters. This was implemented and anyone who knows the oil business knows that oil companies and operators using subsea systems in UK waters will have emergency well-head shut down, oil spill containment and clean up procedures in place for all their operations as it is a legal requirement. It appears that US Regulators chose not take up this lesson from the UK experience.

The problem with the recent BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was that the sub-sea well head blow-out preventer (the main safety device to shut down the well if there is a failure in the well, pipeline or riser) failed and there was no back up safety system to shut down the crude flow from the well. This failed blow out preventer was made by Cameron, a major US offshore equipment supplier.

We are always hearing about how religious the Americans are. Perhaps they could remember the parable of the mote & the beam.

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