After all of the mishaps during Shell’s short Arctic drilling season this year, which included a failed and damaged containment dome, sea ice delays, the drillship Discoverer losing its moorings and almost running aground, and last week’s near disaster as the drillship Kulluk ran slipped its towline in heavy weather and ran aground off of Kodiak Island, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has order an expedited assessment of the program. I have expressed my concerns about the risks of Arctic offshore drilling on this blog before, and these challenges have underscored those risks, and they haven’t even drilled to the productive interval yet. All new programs have problems getting off the ground; the problem here is that the conditions are so harsh that the margin for error is virtually non-existent. The OGJ article about Salazar’s order is below:
Loren Steffy wrote a great piece today about the 300 plus citations for safety and environmental violations issued to Black Elk Energy and the lack of consequences for those violations. As I’ve written about many times before, the safety culture in the oil and gas industry is something that is really difficult to change, especially in service companies that do sub-contract work for operators. Read the rest of this entry
This morning, the EPA announced that BP has been banned from acquiring any new US government contracts due to its “lack of business integrity”. The agency said the ban will continue until BP proves that it can meet government established business standards. The ban does not effect current contracts. Read the rest of this entry
Good article by FuelFix about Black Elk Energy’s history of dozens of warnings and citations from regulators for its Gulf of Mexico operations.
We may know later today what criminal penalties the US government will impose on BP for its tragic blowout and subsequent oil spill that polluted the Gulf Of Mexico in 2010. FuelFix, the energy blog for the Houston Chronicle, and Reuters are reporting that settlement has been reached, and the fine could be the largest in US history rising into the billions. Anonymous sources are also reporting the 2 BP employees may also face manslaughter charges in connection with the deaths that occurred on the rig on April 20, 2010. Read the rest of this entry
This is why mandatory evacuation means mandatory evacuation. Houses can be rebuilt. Lost lives can’t.