Thursday, 27 January 2011

The BP Oil Spill is Much More Than an Environmental Disaste

The BP oil spill has been topping the news for months and everyone's waiting to see just how long this thing will take. They say you should learn from your mistakes and, if BP follows this advice, they have quite a bit from which to learn. Mistakes have been made of horrendous proportion that have had negative effects on millions upon millions of people.
The most affected, of course, are those residing in or near the spill zone. Livelihoods have been decimated and the environmental impact is unprecedented. The Arab producing nations must be having a good time with this one. The risks involved in deep water drilling aren't something they have to worry about in their own back yards. But it's a huge problem for us, not only the present situation but also the prospect of things to come regarding future drillings.
A brief sound bite found the newly elected Prime Minister of the U.K. denying any responsibility for British Petroleum's faults or subsequent reactions to the recent BP oil spill. Who can blame him? Just because he's the leader of the British doesn't mean, in any way, that he shares any of the blame, but he's still taking some heat on this one.
The real culprit in this debacle is a company motivated by maximizing the number on their bottom line, even at the risk of unsafe construction and/or conditions. They knew there were problems. Internal documents revealed through the Freedom of Information Act have turned up all kinds of evidence pointing to their negligence and unacceptable risk-taking.
The BP oil spill is the result of the actions of a company more interested in protecting profits than protecting the environment. At least with the Exxon Valdez incident it was only one inebriated ship's Captain to blame. Here the fault lies with the entire deep-water drilling industry. There are lots of deep-water wells out there in the ocean and they're all being operated within the same faulty system. Which one will be next?
When your Senior Drilling Engineer warns you time and again that your equipment poses a threat of failure if not fixed it should be noted. He's the guy you hired to tell you these kinds of things. If you disregard those warnings because of the additional costs involved and elect, instead, to take the risk, you're culpable of negligence on a monumental scale. For BP it's only their money and their reputation. For the Gulf Coast residents and environment, it's more like doomsday. This area has been wiped out both environmentally and economically. Who'll be the next in line? These oil wells are all over the place.
The recent BP oil spill disaster was probably preventable. We'll never know. The effects of the oil well blowing up will be felt for decades, if not forever. We already know the oceans are polluted, but how much more now? And how many more of these types of accidents can be sustained? One more is one too many. And all this is just to satisfy our thirst for petroleum. Maybe deep-water wells aren't the best alternative.
Rileys is a compressor expert. Find out more on compressor filter, visit