BP in the Gulf of Mexico

Ever since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon ocean rig, we have been accustomed to regular, and now almost daily reports from BP. These, with the associated websites, have shown the extent and professionalism of the BP and Transocean teams dealing with the response to this problem. Very quickly the BP commitment to the problem, in terms of people in Houston, in developing engineering solutions and in delivering the supplies needed, and involved in oil barrage and clean-up operations, passed 20,000, and is now closer to 30,000. Anyone who works for BP is either involved, or scheduled to be sent out to the project teams. The fact that this organized effort is in place and effective is demonstrated by the way that successive solutions and ideas for the well leak containment and collection have been rolled out, and installed 40 miles offshore and 5000 feet down. As this is written it looks like the lower marine riser package containment cap is successfully diverting a significant proportion of the oil flows to the Discoverer Enterprise drill ship, but even then the next section of the plan, to combat any problems in hurricane or storm conditions, is being instigated.

The measured and well executed response from BP is in marked contrast to the sometimes ill-informed and sensationalist statements and reporting from politicians in the USA. As ever, those who live by the culture of blame and compensation shout loud to stir up a frenzy, whereas BP just keeps on working, and spending money to sort out the problems as they work through them. It is reassuring that there are others, such as Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who rejected calls for the armed forces to take control, confirming that the best technology available is with the oil industry themselves. BP has confirmed they are there for the long term, long after the reporters have found a new prime target to attack, so our best wishes go with them.

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