Fitting with Tradition, BP Investigates Itself for Deepwater Horizon Disaster
Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
“BP’s report released today spares no effort to point fingers at its contractors for their share of the blame in the accident. But the report should be placed in the context of BP’s larger safety record. Since 2006, BP has been subject to at least $142.8 million in fines and penalties for workplace safety violations in the U.S. alone—including $87.4 million for allegedly failing to implement workplace safety improvements under a settlement after the Texas City disaster, and $50 million in criminal fines related to that disaster.
“Perhaps the most relevant finding in an otherwise blame-shifting report is that the Deepwater Horizon platform did not have up-to-date records for its blow out preventer—reinforcing the danger of not having complete and accurate drawings for a platform such as BP Atlantis. In August of 2008, a BP contractor discovered the company was operating the Atlantis platform without a large percentage of proper up-to-date and engineer-approved documentation. More than 6,000 critical documents — including those for pipelines, flowlines, wellheads and other important systems — did not have the required engineering documentation.
“The company, in its press release, said it expected ‘a number of the report’s findings to be considered relevant to the oil industry more generally and for some of the recommendations to be widely adopted.’
“If that is the case, it’s business as usual with the oil industry creating the rules. The MMS, now BOEMRE, needs to stop equivocating and start regulating — beginning by closing down BP Atlantis.”
Contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; drakestraw (at) fwwatch.org