Courtesy of Bloomberg, we now have evidence that the Materials Management Service (MMS) had enough information from BP to warrant preventive measures as early as February:
On Feb. 13, BP told the minerals service it was trying to seal cracks in the well about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, drilling documents obtained by Bloomberg show. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the fissures played a role in the disaster.Then we have this:
In early March, BP told the minerals agency the company was having trouble maintaining control of surging natural gas, according to e-mails released May 30 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the spill.Then, courtesy of even further detail, we have this:
On March 10, BP executive Scherie Douglas e-mailed Frank Patton, the mineral service’s drilling engineer for the New Orleans district, telling him: “We’re in the midst of a well control situation.”I am far from being a BP apologist. In fact, based on what's being discovered, they had a reputation for being somewhat careless, cutting corners routinely, almost as a part of doing business. BP also had a track record that included at least two mini-disasters. Perhaps most disturbingly, its leadership has adopted a bit of a bunker mentality when it comes to talking to the press. Bloomberg reports that BP didn't respond to requests for comment. That's what we call lack of transparency, which often translates to having something to hide. It's a mentality that is as helpful to BP as Hayward saying he wants to get his "life back".
The incident was a “showstopper,” said Robert Bea, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has consulted with the Interior Department on offshore drilling safety. “They damn near blew up the rig.”
BP is culpable but what is even more maddening is the U.S. government's attempt to abdicate. Instead of indignantly pointing the finger at Executive Tony Hayward, Bart Stupak should be pointing the finger at the body he represents - Congress. The MMS - an agency overseen by the Obama administration - was clearly in the loop when it came to the red flags warning of the disaster that happened on April 20th; MMS is culpable as well.
The decision to alienate Hayward was calculated. It was also overdone, obviously so because the committee that Stupak chairs, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, had to overcompensate in order to gain its political footing. The U.S. government is not without culpability here, regardless of how badly they want to give it all to BP. It's attempt to do so should enrage every American. Unfortunately, there are blind ideologues who simply love the red meat that is the demonization of BP exclusively. Those people will just jump on the Stupak bandwagon (and you thought that was an oxymoron).
h/t to Hot Air