Spill Baby Spill: Of Private Profits, Public Burdens and Liability?

British Petroleum or BP now stands for Big Problem! BP has ineptly inflicted immense environmental disaster and extreme catastrophe on every living being in the world and as a consequence, BP has also inflicted financial pains on its shareholders as well as its corporate self! BP is understandably getting pummeled in many stock trading places now.

Human error and disregard to safeguards and failures to have back up plans are the reasons for this outsized and extraordinary environmental catastrophe which is still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico in the United States. There were failures by BP to make backup plans in this high risks adventure of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere and the chickens are coming home to roost and there should be no surprise to anyone. This inestimable damage was foreseeable and quite preventable by BP, with proper planning, investments and commitment of adequate resources, BP, just like other oil giants, chose to do otherwise.

BP have for years engaged in a blitzkrieg and blitz of advertisings in which BP prided itself of being “Beyond Petroleum” while in fact, BP evidently failed to undertake the necessary research and development for disaster prevention and disaster management and appropriate industry technologies, and in the face of this environmental cataclysm, BP is actually a Beastly Polluter and with fitting names which should be such Bastardized Puerile oil company or Base Putrid oil drilling. BP publicity and image laundry over the years, now amounts a mere camouflage and window dressing. There is clearly no substitute for best business practices, with due regard for safety for persons, flora and fauna

It is good thing that BP is suffering from the consequences of its environmental ineptitude. BP shares are being battered in American and European stock exchanges, and even amidst of these pummeling, BP is declaring 10 billion dollars in dividends for shareholders and spending millions on public relations advertising while the house is on fire?

I billion dollars spent by BP already, and the US federal government has just sent 69 million dollars in partial bill to BP. And 10 billion dollars in dividends for shareholders gas been announced by BP, these are all clear indications of the deep-pockets of BP and other oil giants. It must therefore be made clear to BP, that it must not attempt to obfuscate and confuse and out-lawyer claimants who are affected and afflicted by BP’s unwarranted environmental degradations and pollutions in the Gulf of Mexico, which in particular have had dramatic adverse effect on the ecosystem in and around the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida

The whole world should be asking BP why it failed to back up plans? And why it did not sufficiently invest money and other resources into its Blowout Preventers and the so-called relief wells in the Gulf of Mexico and every where else where BP is engaged in offshore drilling and oil prospecting and explorations? BP was engaged in cost cutting and skimping on resources, even though, BP in 2009 made an after tax profits in excess of $25 billion dollars!

BP has continuously and dramatically understated the magnitude of spill
BP should be taken over in receivership as done to GM and Chrysler and AIG etc
BP never contemplated risks and accidents. BP told regulators in Canada that relief wells are unnecessary because of current modern technology.. Same season relief well capability BP argued was not necessary, because of technology, methodology and modalities, two barriers, drilling relief wells and Blowout Preventers and relief wells. BP argued that relief wells unnecessary, because of modern technologies, BP argued this before Canada regulators barely one month before the spillage in the Gulf of Mexico! Oil companies know the apparent, obvious and inherent risk in oil drilling

The world now knows, through the Oil Flow Technical Committee, an independent body made up of college professors and plethora of scientist, that the true volume of BP spillage in the Gulf of Mexico is in excess of 40,000 barrels of crude oil daily, since the occurrence of this preventable avoidable disaster in American Gulf Coast. This despite BP’s wayward efforts in deceit, as BP pretended all along since April 20, 2010, as it insisted that the spillage was a mere 5, 000 barrels a day!

Blame BP for not have disaster management plans and back up plans and disaster relief plans blame BP contractors and subcontractors for not being whistle blowers against BP as BP sought to cut corners skim on overhead cost, then blame the Republicans for their idiocies also known as deregulation regimes in banking and financial industry, which in effect brought about the Wall Street crash, the financial meltdown and the global economic crises via securitization of mortgages and for inventing the too clever by half financial floozy, also known as derivatives!

It takes equal measure of courage to put blames where such blames belong instead of blaming the wrong persons. Obama should stop blaming himself for the spillage by BP, BP made $25 billion dollars after tax profits in 2009 and that is no chump change and BP and other oil companies do know the deal. Oil giants and oil conglomerates are keenly aware of the inherent danger in offshore drilling, particularly so, when such drilling is done 5,000 below sea water. Someone should inform Mr. Obama that BP is aware that there are risks in offshore drilling and that BP and other oil companies know the risks and rewards therein, hence these oil companies are not in the agro-business of the vegetable planting and harvesting business!

Mr. Obama should stop blaming himself for BP’s blunders! Obama is not the one who brought about deregulation in the United States whether in particular reference to the oil industry or the banking and financial industry. I think that there are civic lessons is in oil spill, coal mining deaths and financial crises
It is the case that BP is resisting capture and contain measures which have worked in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere such as experiments already measured in Norway, BP disregarded slowly winding down drilling as recommended by subcontractors

In a sarcastic way, I must say that President Barack Obama is the luckiest man on earth, he had to clean up after Bush and Republicans in the financial industry, oil industry, two foreign wars, and a scandalously comatose domestic economy and yet, Mr. Obama gets pounded by the Republicans and the ubiquitous and boisterous Tea Party charlatans!

It is the case that so much of what Obama is confronted with, by way of public policy debacles, are what Mr. Obama inherited from Bush-Cheney dumped on Americans. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana who famously criticized Obama for having big government . now says he want Obama federal government to clean up Louisiana and free it of soothe and plumes. some Americans seek to have it both ways, vigorous and robust regulations by government on the one hand and less government on the other. This is similar to demand a million persons army to fight various battles, while advocating the elimination of the department of defense and national army in the first place.

Americans and citizens of the world should blame BP for the environmental catastrophe which BP has wrought on the Gulf of Mexico. BP and other oil companies are keenly and acutely aware of the sacrosanct fact that oil drilling is inherently dangerous and fundamentally risky, oil drilling business without thinking of and planning for accidents and plans to clean up. what was the back up plan? BP in 2009 made an after tax profits of $25 billion dollars a year, there is price to pay for misconduct.

An American regulatory agency, Mineral Management Service, MMS has been in bed metaphorically and literally with oil industry. Deregulation is what caused the trouble in the financial industry and now, the same deregulation which caused the spills in Gulf of Mexico. And again, it bears rep

eating that, all these shenanigans came about and were fostered and festered during the deregulation atmosphere of the Republicans and the Bush-Cheney.

Obama’s pandering is what has got him in trouble. he knew deregulation is bad, he knew offshore drilling is dangerous for the environment, but, in expedient manner and in the name of bipartisanship, he joined the drill baby drill chorus by Republicans. After one month of the catastrophe and mammoth disaster, it is apparent that magnitude of BP spill is unmatched in American history

BP is shading the information and controlling information and action and response, Obama could and should have put a coalition of the state governments of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi and the American military to work and put BP under them. we seeing dead birds and plumes of oil

BP is out of its depths! There is nothing BP can do cannot do without the input of the federal government, the United States government is exercising effective oversight and the world have noticed the various Admirals of the US Coast Guards who have been overseeing these BP clean up efforts

The world is not equally oblivious of the continued presence of Secretary Salazar of the Department of the Interior and representatives of Energy, Mineral Management Service etc, all Agencies/Department of the US Govt. which have maintained presence in the Gulf Coast/Gulf of Mexico all along and for over a month now… since the explosion, deaths and spillage by BP

No one should be forgiving of BP made $25 billion dollars in profits last year, BP Should be able to clean up after itself! BP does not need anyone or Obama to hold BP’s greedy corporate hands! And those like Karl Rove call it Obama’s Katrina are merely seeking to make political hays out of a gargantuan mess caused by BP. Mr. Obama’s political enemies, those same persons who made drill baby drill a famous mantra of theirs, are the same ones engaging in the melodrama of calling BP mess an Obama Katrina?

Obama has been on top of things, Obama has visited the Gulf Coastal states more than three times since April 20, 2010 when this BP spillage disaster was inflicted on the Gulf of Mexico. Obama is going there again soon, he was there first week of the oil spill. It must be recognized that this a disaster one mile under water and it is impossible for Mr. Obama to go under water to inspect the disaster. What does the world expect Mr. Obama to do?

It is the case that in this BP inflicted environmental disaster and mammoth catastrophe in American Gulf Coast, chickens come home to roost, both onshore and offshore drilling has consequences and Nigerians have been dealing with these adverse effects for so long, longer than 50 years! As a consequence of the catastrophe in America’s Gulf Coast, the world have had to learn first hand, the stories of fishermen, oyster men, and assortment of restaurants and travel and tours operators in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida etc. The world has been compelled to learn about brown swans and endangered birds and turtles and wetlands in America’s Gulf Coast states, and yet, the BP spillage in the Gulf of Mexico is quite MINOR in comparison with the extreme degradation of the environment in Nigeria’s Niger Delta which has gone on for fifty years. The world does not know or does not care about the stories of Niger Delta women who have had to endure miscarriages, stillbirths and children with deformities, and adults with skin lesions and more adults with eye diseases and all types of infections, diseases and afflictions, all, as consequences of oil drilling in the Niger Delta! This disdain and contempt by oil corporate giants is not peculiar to the Niger Delta, it is identical in Angola, Ecuador etc.

Additionally, this pattern of contempt and disdain, is actually not peculiar to the oil industry, pharmaceutical companies and all types of multinational conglomerates are known to engage in these complete disregard for peoples outside the America and Europe. Union Carbide was such example in Bhopal India and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals is another example of American and European egregious corporate misconduct in Nigeria. Halliburton for instance, was known to have inflated and engaged in over-billing in its no-bid contract in Iraq, with the United States Armed Forces, just as the same Halliburton has pleaded guilty to bribing its way into contracts in Nigeria, despite Nigerian laws and despite laws in the United States which prohibits and proscribes such conducts, such as American companies offering inducements or bribes to foreign public officials. It is the case that too many corporations are too focused on profits, and these American and European corporations frequently engage in bribes, corruption, blackmail, spying and intimidation in search of profits and lucre, as was the case of the now bankrupt ENRON which lied and bribed its way into extinction in America, Asia and Nigeria

The US agency known as Mineral Management Service is now leaderless because of the sudden departure of the head of that agency in the wake of BP mess and tepid response, and besides, MMS have been rife with corruption and have been scandalized with revelations that its officials were too frequently in cozy relationships, both metaphorical and physical.

This BP mess, has once again brought to sharp focus, the futility of Mr. Obama’s fixation on bipartisanship! So much for Mr. Obama’s focus on bipartisan focus! See how Republicans are slamming and lambasting Obama and the Republicans sees political opportunity in the unfolding mess by BP! The Republicans are engaging in acts of overkill as they tackle Mr. Obama over an essentially private disaster brought about by BP an oil conglomerate!

After more than one month, BP is still unsure of the quantity of crude oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the US federal government does not have better technology than BP, does Nigeria, Ecuador and other nations where there have been pollution, do have better equipment and technology than the United States.

An oil spill is a result of private enterprise for private profit… BP, Halliburton and TransOcean are responsible for the spillage and the consequences and the US government. Oil spillage is not like municipal garbage, state or federal garbage requiring government removal… this catastrophe was brought about by private companies, which should have had more contingency plans, by way of relief wells, and other disaster management plans.

George W. Bush’s administration knew the forecast of Hurricane Katrina and after it happened… Bush praised Michael Brown for doing a “darn good job!” conversely, Barrack Obama went to the Gulf of Mexico promptly as the accident happened…No one should forget how Bush-Cheney co-wrote American energy policies with oil industry executives… but now, Tea Party and Republican critics of Mr. Obama wants to dump all these at Mr. Obama’s doorsteps? He has been there for ONLY sixteen months and has written no energy laws!

Should Mr. Obama have been more aggressive and be accused of being a Socialist/Communist? Or be accused of trying to nationalize private properties and private companies? Similar to the unfair accusations against President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who sought to make multinational oil companies accountable in their drillings in Venezuela and he was quickly branded, labeled and excoriated by these oil giants of America and Europe! Should Mr. Obama and his White House become the sanitation department or agency of BP? NO!

No one should forget how Bush-Cheney co-wrote American energy policies with oil industry executives… but now, Tea Party and Republican critics of Mr. Obama wants to dump all these at Mr. Obama’s doorsteps? He has been there for ONLY sixteen months and has written no energy laws!

Conservatives, Republicans and Tea Party are looking to make this an Obama administration mess! Even though, it was these same conservatives, republicans and Tea Party persons who were advocati

ng “Drill Baby Drill” hence we now have “Spill Baby Spill” Some are eager to compare this to Hurricane Katrina which was mismanaged by FEMA… but the … See More oil spillage in the Gulf of Mexico was caused by the activities of private companies BP, Halliburton and TransOceans etc and for their own private profits… BP alone made a profit of $25 billion dollars in 2009!

Why should we clean up after oil companies? they should curb their dogs… it is not the duty of the mayor of a municipality to clean up the mess of your dog on public space or sidewalk… only if you do not clean your dog’s mess, then, you may be punished! The mayor should not confiscate your dog and Mr. Obama should not nationalize or seize BP, but make BP clean up, or bear the cost of clean up

The focus of critics should be on the activities of the oil companies who always fail to plan for foreseeable accidents and spills and catastrophes… even as these companies are singularly focused on profits! Deployment and response plans within 72 hours of accident. this is contingency by BP was to curb 450 barrels of oil per day in the event of accident but this never materialized when the accident occurred

It should be agreed that if you drive your car into a shop, in an accident, the ensuing property damage is on you and you are liable. As it is here, BP ruined an estuary, BP ruined the pristine wetlands in the American Gulf Coast, BP has hell to pay and BP is liable, BP ruined restaurant businesses, fishermen businesses, and oystermen business etc and BP is must take responsibility for the damages BP has caused.

BP dictated to its contractors as to speed of work and quality of materials, BP was known to complain to its contractors about cost overruns etc. BP is right now dictating to the US Coast Guards as to how to proceed in this mess clean up, because BP has control of its oil drilling wells everywhere, including the site of the giant mess in the Gulf of Mexico. BP brought this environmental catastrophes about and the focus should singularly be on BP.

It is BP which did not make contingency plans and back up plans and it is BP which underestimated the risks which are in any case well known to BP. It is BP which made $25 billion after tax profits in 2009 from oil exploration and prospecting, and yet, BP and other oil giants have not felt it important to invest in research and development in connection with disaster prevention and disaster management. BP and other oil companies are too frequently singularly focused and fixated on the bottom-line, which is profits, profits and more profits without requisite attention to safety for employees and talk much less about care the ecosystem and worldwide environments where oil giants reap billions of dollars yearly!

Written by
Paul I. Adujie
Join the discussion

  • Today (06/16/2010), your man: the shakedown artist by the name of Chairman B. H. Obama the 1st, succeeded in forcing B.P. to cough up 20 billion dollars which will presumably be spent to compensate those adversely affected by the Gulf of Mexico ACCIDENT. Also today, the stupid and scared chairman of BP declared that shareholders will get zero dividend. That declaration alone ought to make communists like you very happy! But while you are dancing, be reminded of the fact that BP loses NOTHING. It is investors, the regular people that hypocrites like you always claim to love, who will bear the burden of your Obama’s dictatorial ejaculation regarding the accident. In that accident, eleven (11) human beings died. Rather than feel for their families, especially their spouses and children, you dedicated your entire shallow piece to lamenting eco system; a system about which you know nothing! To further expose yourself for what you really are about, you turned an ACCIDENT into a political football. And as usual, you blamed the accident on Republicans, Tea Partiers, George W, Elmer Fudge, Santaria, Capitalism,… I am surprised you haven’t yet blamed it on Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Jesus Christ and the Israeli Jews. But the day’s still young!!! If you believe that Oil Industry is not regulated enough by the government as you insinuated in your nauseating piece, you really need to start doing some serious reading. You need to put aside your bible: the New York Times (the paper of criminal record) and start reading some legislations concerning oil industry in the United States of America.

    What happened to BP was an ACCIDENT. No amount of regulations will ever prevent an oil rig from ever blowing up just as no government regulations will ever prevent all aviation disasters. But since you communists like to use an accident as an excuse to implement your evil political policies, why don’t YOU lead the way in showing the rest of us how terrible oil really is to our environment by giving up on using oil and ALL of its derivatives like petroleum or plastic? Why don’t you stop using any kind of automobile and start riding a bike year round? And while you are at it, you might also want to consider stopping the use of vaseline to soften your kinky hair. Concerning this accident, it is the Federal government, headed by the Communist-In-Charge; Obama, who has failed the people in getting a handle on it. You might want to read about the piece of legislation signed into law by Bling Bling Clinton concerning this issue. But since you are NEVER about the truth, but ALWAYS about lies and propaganda, I am sure you won’t even consider reading it. For Nigerians like you, I hope America remains your permanent home away from home. I hope and pray that you NEVER return home to your country of birth (Nigeria?) to participate in politics. God knows we already have enough people like you destroying human lives through the implementation of your kind of political philosophy.

  • Some of you can afford to be aloof, devoid of any feelings and indulge in sedate analyses… while some of us quite unlike you, are keenly aware of the direct impacts and lives adversely affect through oil drilling and the consequences on our ecosystem.

    Google an article by the Guardian UK and you will read that the spillage catastrophes in Nigeria is 100 fold worse than the spillage in the American Gulf Coast.

    And some Nigerians would join BP and dance on the graves of Nigerians who have suffered and borne the brunt of drilling… poor Niger Delta, the chicken which still lays golden eggs for Nigeria

    I write from the depth of feelings and from being acutely aware of the conditions which have been endured by my people for over 50… and quit unlike you, willing to be BP or western nations’ Pavlov dog, regurgitating high sound abstract crap

  • You probably live under a rock and you are completely oblivious of the degradation borne by my people as a result of oil spillage for over 50 years which is adjudged by all accounts and by all measurements to be worse that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill!

    BP made 325 billion dollars AFTER tax in profits… so why won’t it invest in disaster management and sundry back up plans? Why did BP cut corners and skimp on safety measures Mr. detached academic?

    Many lives have been lost in Nigeria due to oil spillage… it is not an abstract matter to some of us! Ori daru Seun!

    Where the heck is your reaction… your abstract reaction based on empirical data without emotions?

  • Not exactly sure why you keep referring to BP’s $25billion in profits for 2009 without a comparison to other metrics such as revenue, gearing (debt ratio) etc? Big businesses make big revenues, and ideally, big profits. In objective analysis, you would agree with the fact that until the facts of the accident are known, it is only speculation to apportion blame for what may turn out to have been a bad judgement call. Also I find your article to be overly emotional!