One interesting article I read this morning came to light through Wikileaks.
Striking resemblances between BP‘s Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm 18 months beforehand have emerged from leaked US embassy cables.
The cables reveal that some of BP’s partners in the gas field were upset that the company was so secretive about the incident that it even allegedly withheld information from them. They also say that BP was lucky that it was able to evacuate its 212 workers safely after the incident, which resulted in two fields being shut and output being cut by at least 500,000 barrels a day with production disrupted for months.
Other cables leaked tonight claim that the president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing $10bn of oil from his country and using “mild blackmail” to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region.
This rings true for me. Many of my students — particularly those from Western African nations — complain about the tactics oil companies use to extract their resources. The countries always get the raw end of the deal and the oil companies make a killing.
Sen. David Vitter, R- La., said in a letter to PresidentBarack Obama that he was putting a “hold” on the nomination of Dr. Scott Doney for chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He first wants answers to the tough new policy on offshore drilling announced earlier this month.
It’s sort of like hostage taking, isn’t it?
Perhaps there is some link between the two article? I tend to side with the administration on this and not either of Louisiana’s senators.
Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said Vitter action was “posturing.”
“No amount of political pressure is going to weaken our commitment to delivering strong oversight, strong safety standards and clear rules of the road for offshore oil and gas production,” Barkoff said. Interior says the inspector general’s report was an editing mistake and not an issue of wrongdoing or scientific integrity.