Friday, June 18, 2010

Stuff Happens

My neighbor works on a platform in the Gulf; a production platform. We were discussing the Gulf Oil disaster this morning and marveling at the wisdom of some, especially the media. His sister is a manager for BP in Houston. She gets threatening phone calls; all employees of BP are advised to remove the BP emblems from their shirts and coveralls, the company vehicles are having the emblems removed. Employees wearing the emblems and having them on their trucks are getting threatened when they are filling up their vehicles with gas. People are approaching with intentions of having a fist fight!

He (the neighbor) was telling us about the 26 boats surrounding his rig, the helicopters from the coast guard that circled overhead directing the boats on where to lay the boom to collect the oil. Each boat was fully staffed. The media never shows this and this was his complaint. The cleanup crews are there and in full force. Everything is being done that can be done but this isn't broadcast. He too felt the same way most of us here in the Gulf feel. The years gone by with a good record of oil recovery without incident and now this incident which has garnered a moratorium on oil recovery which will cause extreme hardship on this part of the country.

We listen to the reporters and it's not difficult to spot their lack of knowledge on what they are reporting. It's all about drama with the reporters. It's all about politicizing this incident with the senators and congressmen. Mud is being slung at our president as though he has some incite on this problem. He doesn't and why would he? This is a specialized industry. The people in the know are right now trying to solve this problem and that would be British Petroleum.

I watched with interest the "grilling" of the CEO of BP yesterday. The senators got to strut and furl their feathers to show the citizens of the United States that they were on top of this and questioning the authorities. They questioned the CEO as though he would know every decision made at the lower levels of his company. I ask you, how many CEO's know what the lower echelons are doing? They get reports on the progress and recovery but they have hired professionals to operate those rigs and make decisions based on their experience. Micro managing a company as big as BP would be an impossibility.

My neighor was on a platform that was blown away by a hurricane. Storm packers were placed and his rig deserted to await the storm's arrival and passing. The rig sunk in the hurricane and by the grace of whoever, the pipes bent over and didn't break thereby avoiding an oil spill. The hole was lost and no recovery of oil was managed. Stuff happens.

He also recounted a story of a man found pouring old engine oil around his boat and claiming it was from the Deep Water Horizon leak. Everybody is out to make a buck off this. If BP does go broke which we are hoping doesn't happen, what then? Who pays to clean up this mess? There is nothing good about this incident. I'm sure the head ducks at BP have totaled up the amount to drill that hole there in deep water which is a loss along with the loss of all that oil in that reservoir and now the cost to clean up the mess.

Are we angry with BP? I would have to say "no". The real oil people know that this could have happened with any of the big oil companies. Texaco, Shell and any of the others drilling offshore could have encountered this problem.

I'm waiting for gas at the pumps to hit 7.00 a gallon and then I'll get to listen to all those that oppose offshore drilling complain loudly about the price of gas.

I don't argue that it is sad what has happened. It's also sad when a big jet crashes and kills 300 plus on board. We continue to fly those big jets even though most of the crashes are blamed on pilot error. Stuff happens.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I agree with you. It's all horrible, but your take on the senators and their "grilling", the people who want to fight people with BP logos on their trucks/shirts/cap? Spot on.

    And WHY won't they show the existing clean-up efforts? What does it profit the media/news to whip up an area already hurting from a number of natural disasters????


  2. Showing dead birds or birds covered in oil is much more emotional for their viewers and we all love drama huh?
    I'm sure BP is mourning the loss of that well not to mention all the costs of cleanup which they will bear and internally there will be an accounting for the decisions made on that rig. My husband has worked for BP (he is ancillary) and they run a tight ship with many safety meetings that are mandatory attendence when on their sites. Unfortunately, costs outweight safety many times and it seems as though there was some of that going on.


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