BP Oil Spill Two Years Later, Still in Court, Fish Deformed, a New Oil Slick & Obama’s Slick Solutions
April 20, 2010, began with an explosion 40 miles off shore at The Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Whether you call it the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster, the Macondo blowout, the Transocean, Halliburton screwup, it was the largest accidental oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. The explosion killed 11 men working on the platform and injured 17 others. Most won’t remember the names, only the fact that for three months oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico creating a huge environmental and economic disaster. We remember them here- via http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-05-25-oil-spill-victims-memorial_N.htm
It took until July 15, 2010 to stop the estimated 5 million barrels of crude oil from escaping the gushing wellhead. What caused it and who was going to pay for it has been lingering ever since.
Unusual pressure readings in the hours before the blowout indicated there was “a very large abnormality” in the well, said a memo released by the House Energy Committee. That suggested that a cement plug, which was supposed to seal off the shaft, had not done so, the memo said. However, the information was ignored and the drilling crew began removing the drilling mud that was holding back the high-pressure oil and gas. A BP investigator told Congress that the decision was a “fundamental mistake,” according to the memo.
What it comes down to is human error. Two years later-
BP and a committee representing more than 100,000 plaintiffs have agreed on a blueprint to settle billions of dollars in unresolved economic, property, and medical damage claims….The total cost of the settlement, the company estimates, will reach about $7.8 billion, which makes it one of the largest class-action settlements in U.S. history…The trial has the potential of forcing BP to pay a far greater sum than what was resolved Wednesday. For example, Clean Water Act liabilities could total as much as $17.6 billion….BP has already paid $6 billion to oil spill victims through a $20 billion trust it established last year. The company also says it will provide $57 million to promote Gulf Coast tourism. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2012/0418/BP-oil-spill-settlement-Justice-for-100-000-Gulf-Coast-victims
If you feel like you may have been damaged, the deadline to file claims under the new resolution is April 22, 2014. At least the big oil players don’t seem in any danger of running out of money anytime soon.
BP reported an improved quarterly profit on Tuesday (Feb. 7, 2012) and said a return of operational momentum has allowed it to boost its dividend. http://www.cnbc.com/id/46287263/BP_Profit_Jumps_Company_Boosts_Dividend
Pat Sullivan / AP
The energy giant posted fourth-quarter replacement cost profit of $7.61 billion, up from $4.61 billion during the same period last year.
BP’s annual report for 2010 notes the firm posted a loss of $3.7 billion, largely due to a total charge of $40.9 billion incurred by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. But in the fourth quarter of 2010, BP actually pulled in a profit of $4.4 billion dollars, which has prompted the company to pay a small dividend of 7 U.S. cents on the share to its shareholders for the fourth quarter. This is pretty amazing for a company that was in the cross-hairs of many a politician, environmentalist, and banker for the better part of last year, thanks to its involvement in the worst oil spill disaster in U.S. history. http://www.fastcompany.com/1722885/bps-profitable-fourth-quarter-oil-spill-what-oil-spill
Halliburton reported net income of $627 million, or 68 cents per share for the first three months of the year. (2012) That compares with $511 million, or 56 cents per share, for the same part of 2011. Revenue increased by 30 percent to $6.87 billion, including a record $4.17 billion in North America.
Shares rose by $1.51, or 4.6 percent, to $34.17.
Halliburton’s results include a $300 million charge related to its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company had provided cementing services for BP PLC on the well that suffered the disastrous blowout. While it continues to spar with BP over who should take responsibility for the disaster, Halliburton said it needs to set aside funds for “probable losses” from future lawsuits and settlements.
BP expects to pay more than $37 billion to cover damages and other costs, and it says Halliburton should pay a share of that. BP has collected several billion dollars from minority owners and other contractors associated with the well. Halliburton maintains that BP, as the well’s owner, is responsible for causing the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i6ovy8614AK-acxmtP1hE2uRk9pQ?docId=5ac20c7b17db4382ad400f59651fab61
“Halliburton intentionally destroyed the evidence related to its nonprivileged cement testing, in part because it wanted to eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial,” the BP filing says. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/1206/Halliburton-destroyed-evidence-after-Gulf-oil-spill-BP-charges
America needs oil, we do not need another incident like this. While the BP incident resulted in changes to offshore-drilling regulations and increased vigilance about oil spills, The U.S. Coast Guard just last week spotted another oil slick in the Gulf.
Scientists can’t yet determine where the 10-mile stretch of oil sheen found Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico originated, but they have ways of finding out. Shell oil is investigating. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0412/Mysterious-Gulf-oil-sheen-Where-did-it-come-from
Shell said later Wednesday that a 10-square-mile layer of an unknown substance was floating between its Mars and Ursa platforms, which are some of the largest oil and gas-producing facilities in the Gulf. Shell said it confirmed that there are “no well control issues” associated with its drilling operations in the area. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304444604577339153651214084.html
What are the odds that 10 miles of an unknown substance wouldn’t be oil from a nearby platform? Guess there is the off chance a 747 plane dropped its fuel. Uh, huh. Why is Shell leading the investigation? “As simple as it may seem,the law prevents the government from just taking over, After the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, Congress dictated that oil companies be responsible for dealing with major accidents – including paying for all cleanup – with oversight by federal agencies. http://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/bp-tells-epa-to-shove-it-oil-spill-cleanup/”
BP used at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic Corexit dispersals to sink the oil. They burned the fuel, and watched it wash up on shores and onto the seabed. The cleanup and monitoring will continue. Is it any wonder that fishermen and scientists are finding all sorts of weird sea creatures. Shrimp with no eyes, crabs rotting from the inside. All sorts of seafood that we humans eat. A must read comes from http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/04/201241682318260912.html
…chemicals named polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), released from BP’s submerged oil, are likely to blame, due to the fact that the fish with lesions he is finding are from “a wide spatial distribution that is spatially coordinated with oil from the Deepwater Horizon, both surface oil and subsurface oil.
President Obama, who actually managed to visit the area long after Jimmy Buffett did, has managed to come up with the idea that the oil industry does not need tax breaks. He vetoed the Keystone Pipeline, and has barely issued any new permits for drilling on federal lands. His most recent thought on how to curb the rising costs of gas? To spend $52 million on further regulations in the oil futures markets.
Obama wants Congress to strengthen federal supervision of oil markets, increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders are required to put behind their transactions. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57415230/obama-calls-on-congress-to-help-police-oil-markets/ The federal gas tax — 18.4 cents a gallon for gasoline, 24.4 cents for diesel. This year we managed to export more than we imported. For every mile you don’t drive to burn up gas, the government makes no money and that means no new bridges and infrastructure.
The slowdown in permit issuance for drilling on federal land is totally and completely unrelated to the price of gasoline. The White House keeps telling us that every time the subject comes up. As we know from our Acadaemia Institute economics lessons, increased supply never lowers price. http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/27/video-drilling-permits-on-federal-land-declining-under-obama/
By May of 2013? That’s 13 months from now! Ridiculous. All the hoops and regulations seem to be online now at the BLM website including a free download of the publication Surface Operating Standards and Guidelines for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development (commonly referred to as The Gold Book) was developed to assist operators by providing information on the requirements for obtaining permit approval and conducting environmentally responsible oil and gas operations on Federal lands and on private surface over Federal minerals (split-estate).
Not to be all doom and gloomy, there is a bit of good news.
Oil in New York has technical support along its 100-day moving average, around $101.93 a barrel today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Futures have been trading above this indicator for the past week. Buy orders tend to be clustered near chart-support levels.
U.S. crude stockpiles climbed to 369 million barrels, the highest level since May 27, the Energy Department data showed. Refineries operated at less than 85 percent of capacity for a second week, according to the report.- Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-19/oil-trades-near-one-week-low-in-new-york-on-rising-u-s-supplies.html
Stay tuned and have a good day, one day it will be your last. God Bless.
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