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BP Accused of Another Blowout Coverup 2 Years Before Deepwater Horizon Spill

Posted By Leon Kaye On April 19, 2012 @ 1:09 pm In environmental destruction,News,Water Issues | 1 Comment

BP, deepwater horizon, oil spill, ecowatch.org, cover up, baku, Azerbaijan, robert f. kennedy jr. gulf of mexico, deepwater horizon disaster

In 2008, two years before the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP offshore oil rig suffered a blowout [1] in the Caspian Sea [2]. According to a new report on EcoWatch.org which was released today, the company had concealed the details [3] of the earlier accident from the energy industry and the U.S. government. The investigation reveals a trail of cost-cutting measures and shoddy construction methods similar to what unfolded in the Gulf during 2010.

BP, deepwater horizon, oil spill, ecowatch.org, cover up, baku, Azerbaijan, robert f. kennedy jr. gulf of mexico, deepwater horizon disaster

A satellite view of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

The earlier blowout occurred off the coast of Baku, Azerbaijan in September 2008 [2]. A cement cap failed to contain high pressure gasses and the result was drill pipe cement and other debris dispersed all over the platform. As workers were evacuated from the chaotic scene, a BP crew attempted to plug well bores with “quick-dry” cement, which failed while the platform became smothered in methane gas.

EcoWatch’s investigation [1] of the earlier disaster started a few days after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill began in April 2010. A worker who had witnessed the Caspian Sea accident contacted a reporter to share the details, but when a British team of journalists was sent to Baku, they were immediately arrested by Azerbaijan’s Security Ministry forces. The reporters were quickly released to avoid any diplomatic tangles, but two witnesses who had been at the scene had vanished and no were no longer in communication with the journalists.

Meanwhile BP had not notified the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) about the incident, a standard procedure within the oil and gas industry. In addition to working with Azerbaijan’s government to conceal the incident, BP withheld the information from the U.S. government as it lobbied with other energy companies for increased drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Testimony from BP executives to Congress included a statement [4] that “releases from oil and gas operations are rare.” According to  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., senior attorney for the National Resources Defense Council, BP’s lack of disclosure about the Caspian incident and the cement failure could have proved deadly in the long run. Meanwhile BP still denies any responsibility [5] for the incident.

+ EcoWatch.org [1]

Photos via Wikipedia (U.S. Coast Guard [6]), Wikimedia Commons (NASA [7])


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URLs in this post:

[1] suffered a blowout: http://ecowatch.org/2012/bpcoverup/

[2] Caspian Sea: http://www.gregpalast.com/vulturespicnic/pages/filecabinet/chapter2/Official_BP_Story_1.pdf

[3] concealed the details: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/15/wikileaks-bp-azerbaijan-gulf-spill

[4] statement: http://www.gregpalast.com/wp-content/uploads/David-RaineyFullSenateInteraction.pdf

[5] denies any responsibility: http://www.gregpalast.com/vulturespicnic/pages/filecabinet/chapter2/BP_Response_to_C4_Questions.pdf

[6] U.S. Coast Guard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010.jpg

[7] NASA: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill_-_May_24,_2010.jpg

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