Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rumor Schlumberger Exits Deep Horizon
Hours Before Blowout

Posted: May 14th, 2010 by: h-1

This may or may not be the story ROCKMAN referred to (read down a bit for the quotes I included towards the end of the posting) in the current oildrum Deep Horizon blowout thread.
AlanfromBigEasy on May 14, 2010 – 3:06pm Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

Story circulating in New Orleans

With appropriate caveats:

BP contracted Schlumberger (SLB) to run the Cement Bond Log (CBL) test that was the final test on the plug that was skipped. The people testifying have been very coy about mentioning this, and you’ll see why.

SLB is an extremely highly regarded (and incredibly expensive) service company. They place a high standard on safety and train their workers to shut down unsafe operations.

SLB gets out to the Deepwater Horizon to run the CBL, and they find the well still
kicking heavily, which it should not be that late in the operation. SLB orders the
“company man” (BP’s man on the scene that runs the operation) to dump kill fluid down the well and shut-in the well. The company man refuses. SLB in the very next sentence asks for a helo to take all SLB personel back to shore. The company man says there are no more helo’s scheduled for the rest of the week (translation: you’re here to do a job, now do it). SLB gets on the horn to shore, calls SLB’s corporate HQ, and gets a helo flown out there at SLB’s expense and takes all SLB personel to shore.

6 hours later, the platform explodes.

Pick your jaw up off the floor now. No CBL was run after the pressure tests because the
contractor high-tailed it out of there. If this story is true, the company man (who
survived) should go to jail for 11 counts of negligent homicide.

AlanfromBigEasy on May 14, 2010 – 8:01pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | [Parent subthread ] Comments top

This story did come from within the industry. I agreed to keep the source(s) confidential.


This is almost exactly what ROCKMAN was hinting out, and he further noted these guys won’t say this in public now for fear of legal reprisals, but they certainly will say it under oath.

If true, things are going to be very very bad for BP, since that makes this event not only avoidable, but deliberately done almost, at least the decision to not stop, if this report is true, was deliberate.

Keep in mind that BP was celebrating the completion with high ups at the day the blowout happened, which would give credence to the idea of the BP supervisor not wanting to stop the well just when the top brass were on the rig. Human all too human indeed…

ROCKMAN has been hinting that the causes here were human error all along, but he since his sources I assume are company insiders, he can’t say more. But this might be the explanation…

ROCKMAN on May 14, 2010 – 8:49pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | [Parent subthread ] Comments top

The “ordered the company” is the one part that doesn’t fit at all. No matter the disagreement a subcontractor will never order a coman to do anything. He might refuse an order or he might tell the coman to go screw himself. I seen and done both. But never gave one an order. Perhaps it was a misinterpretation. Perhaps the SLB gave the coman an ultimatum. That I’ve seen first hand a number of times.

But soon we’ll be able to judge the validity of this story. Now that the MSM has the smell of blood we should be seeing SLB in the spot light very soon. They’ll have to respond in some form. Any form of confirmation will be solid gold proof IMHO. An absolute and clear denial would offer the same. SLB would never cover-up such an event. NEVER for a variety of reasons. A “no comment” will be subject to interpretation but could make me assume some level of truth to the story

As I responded to another TODer I consider the story 100% true or an absolute lie. No room for anything in between IMHO.

[[Update]]Part of this story has now been confirmed, that is, Schlumberger was on the Rig but was sent back 11 hours before it blew.

However, this is still early in the information phase, and as nola notes:

BP spokesmen did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the decision to send Schlumberger home without conducting a cement bond log or on the cementing schematic Probert gave the Senate committee. And Halliburton didn’t respond to questions about the accuracy of Probert’s diagram.

Since the original story was probably either partly untrue, totally true, or partly true, we’ll have to wait a bit more to get the actual details.

One thing however worth noting, ROCKMAN when discussing a rumor he’d heard but would not himself reveal, stated that it was unlikely you’d hear the truth until the actual parties were under oath, in court, for what should hopefully be somewhat obvious reasons.

So keep a watch on this one, but really, the 60 minutes expose on BP safety, or rather lack of safety, practices, is in a sense all you really need. This Schlumberger story, while interesting, is just a side-note, though I admit to wondering about it, it has a ring of truth to my ears, and I think the guy who leaked it was told it by an insider, with much better information than this new story of May 19. We shall see.

Overall it’s not looking very good for BP legally though. Hopefully the top kill will work this Sunday, this blowout is too severe to engage in any type of schadenfreude, this is a significant part of the planet’s ecosystem under attack by our insatiable desire for more consumption, more people, more driving, at any price… sad really to watch as a world sucks itself dry in a desperate attempt to achieve… what exactly?

This entry was posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010 at 18:20 and is filed under Currents of the Peak. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
76 Responses to “Rumor Schlumberger Exits Deep Horizon Hours Before Blowout”
« Older Comments

eddytheeagle says:
June 6, 2010 at 02:39

Yes, it’s a terrible shame seeing the nationalistic side of this disaster. We need to focus on stoping the spill and cleaning up the mess (I think BP is doing all it can on both counts).
When that is achieved we can look for the cause.
Both mud engineers killed in the blowout? while displacing with sea water??
The BOP total failure?
Many questions to be answered.
h-1 thanks for keeping on the right heading.
john S says:
June 6, 2010 at 02:59

Let’s pray for the departed 11 crew and there families,i believe justice will prevail !!!! if it’s a case of negligence,the person or persons involved should be treated like a common criminal,we need to know who these people are they may end up on your installation / rig
think about that SCARY!!!!
john S says:
June 6, 2010 at 03:08

Let’s not forget people “quote what one area manager said to me it’s called business”
shareholders/ managers on bonus schemes / cutting corners saving money for top management,yet the workers on the rig suffer no parts,unsafe equipment,conditions and yet we are expected to keep everything running,and not complain a right gong show!!!!
you know what iam talking about….
Brace yourself says:
June 6, 2010 at 05:51

I have worked in the UK sector for many years, Piper Alpha demonstrated many areas rerquiring improvements, I would brace yourselves in the U.S. sector for much of the same, yes we can never say something will bnever again happen here, but I firmly believe the severity will be reduced
I have a freind who works in the U.S. training personnel for the Gulf, he said that the first days on the job and the first offshore guy he encoutered actually said ” don’t bring your North Sea S*#T here ” There lies the root of the problem.
Too gung Ho, U.S. government can’t come out of this smelling of Roses either, regulatory agencies will crawl over the industry going forward, no more cosy relations with Oil Companies.
BP will be ultimately held responsible as operators always are, Transocean and the US Government must also stand up to their responsibilities.
Don’t for one minute think the problem is with BP alone, don’t you think all the other Oil companies have been very quiet through all this, ” There but for the grace of God go I ”
Thoughts go out to the victims and Families.
Reddy says:
June 6, 2010 at 19:35

Thanks to every one here for your good discussions.
Keeping the reasons for the blowout aside, my concern from that minute was to fix the leaking well. I am a offshore pipeline engineer with 13yrs experience. I have sent 6 concepts to BP hotline to consider and implement. I do not know who approved the LMRP design to do it? As I understand the LMRP concept has more risks and possibility of worsening the leak.
As I involved personally with ROV’s working in the similar water depths, fixing leak might have been handled in much better way and much sooner than what it is taking.
There is no lack of technology its rather a innovative engineering concept that solves the leak problem. FYI here are the concepts I proposed:
1) Cut 21″ casing and 6″ pipes together and fit 24″ adjustable clamp with a valve and pup piece, close the valve once it is fitted well
2) Right on leak fit a adjustable clamp with a thick liner
3) Downhole insertion tube
4) Use of subsea separation unit
5) Similar to 40′ hight and single outlet containment dome used; did BP think about using rectangular or circular dome (orifice) placed in plan dimension (say 12 ft length x 4 ft width/diameter x 4 ft height; ~34.2 bbls capacity) with multiple outlets to assist with either chemical injection or oil withdrawal. Also thoughts of having 2 or more chambers with perforations or cavities between chambers
6) Apply pipeline hot tapping technique to divert/stop flow.
Many Thanks.
Chris B says:
June 6, 2010 at 20:40

My thanks to billthedrill. Your apology and support was much appreciated, people do strange things when they are angry….
I started my offshore work in North Sea in the summer of the Piper Alpha disaster, the Cullen Inquiry led the way to changes throughout the Oil Industry as I know it and the Lessons Learned have helped to form my guiding principals through the rest of my working life.
I sincerely hope that when the leak is contained andt the US Governement hold their inquiry that the full findings will be submitted ” without prejudice” There will be grief for companies who have to retrain and rethink their methods, but none of that grief will measure up to that of the families who lost their loved ones, and the people who survived but who will live with it for ever.
h-1 says:
June 7, 2010 at 13:36

New information coming out all the time. Just posted this one, The rig’s on fire! I told you this was gonna happen!, that’s a signed statement by one of the rescue ship’s sailors, confirmed by another sailor, about Harrell’s phone call to parties unknown as of now right after the rig burst into flames.

Harrell was screaming, “Are you f#cking happy? Are you f#cking happy? The rig’s on fire! I told you this was gonna happen.”

Food for thought, no?
Diogenese II says:
June 7, 2010 at 22:30

I worked in the oil and drilling industry in Alberta back in the 70′s and 80′s so I only have an idea of what is really going on and I have a good idea when I see or hear or read BS.

But I don’t understand some of the jargon and acronyms used in the posts on this page.

I find what is being reported on the media here in Canada is plain stupid and mind numbing to those who have some knowledge of such things.

I don’t get or subscribe to CNN, so I don’t know what they are reporting.

I seen the CBS 60 minutes program a couple of weeks ago, and that was very telling and the best that I heard so far. But it looks like it has been taken down off their website as I could not find it the other day when I went to look. Probably were told to take it down by BP lawyers and 60 minutes was canceled this last Sunday.

They started showing the clock ticking and then went to show a movie.

I wondered why?

But it is so easy to see that BP is giving out lies and BS to the media.

I have been looking for some intelligent information on this problem.

I was glad to come across this forum.

I would like to know how much pressure is in this hole?

What size was the casing?

By knowing this it is easy to calculate the amount of oil flowing out.
Or at least get a very good educated guess.

How deep is the well?

Where is the rig laying in relation to the well?

I imagine there is drill pipe inside the crumpled casing.

So how can they run anything into the hole, even if they cut it.

All this topkill and junk shot stuff is just nonsense as far as I can tell.

What kind of formation is between the ocean floor and the oil?

I seen one video that seems to show the oil flowing up through the ocean floor.

That simply means that the oil is coming up out around the casing probably from the bottom unless the casing is bust somewhere.

How much pressure is used in pumping mud and cement down these holes?

Surely someone knows the answers to these questions on this forum.

I am quite sure BP had this well tested by this time and knows exactly how much pressure there is in the well and how much it is producing or and could potentially produce and how much oil is in the formation.

And I am sure there are many well experienced experts on this forum who have a very good idea of how much pressure there is in the well and all the answers to the rest of the questions.

Please educate us.

Then as far as what BP has been doing since the explosion has also been amatuerish.

Right from pumping sea water on the fire with gun boats does not seem to be the most intelligent thing to do and load the platform with water and sink it.

And all the flow stopping methods they have used till now have been ridiculous ideas. Even I had my doubts if they would work as I mentioned above.

Why wasn’t there more intelligent ideas used? Where are the brains?

It looked like amateurs were handing the mess.


How about some discussion on other clean up options.

I just seen this video using bacteria:

Based on the information given, it appears to make sense and work, since it has been proven before, why are they not using it?

Surely you experts know a lot about this and other options to deal with the oil.

I would like to see detailed discussion, comments and input on clean up methods.

Then there is this video:

I know that there is quite a bit of plain nonsense on it but the video seems to show oil flowing out of the ocean floor.

Please comment on the points that you experienced guys know may have some validity and ignore the obvious conspiracy nonsense and other stupidity.

I thank you in advance and look forward to your comments and answers.

Diogenese II

Diogenese was a Greek philosopher back in the old days who was alleged to go around from house to house in his community peeking in the houses with a lantern looking for a sane man.

It would be a good idea to find a lot more sanity and honesty being told about this mess.
h-2 says:
June 7, 2010 at 23:54

Diogenes, I’ve moved my response to this BP gulf oil spill summary because this is not really topically related the original Schlumberger/BP topic. But the questions themselves are good.
mad dog says:
June 8, 2010 at 09:55

heard at bp headquarters about 1 week after accident
h-1 says:
June 8, 2010 at 10:31

mad dog, heard what? Are you referring to the schlumberger story or to the story just linked to about the eye witness account of Harrell saying he told the person the rig was going to blow?
Trout 579 says:
June 8, 2010 at 21:16

Wow, there are a lot ideas floating around out there. It is all speculation right now. I use to work for Schlumberger in Canada and USA for 8yrs as a well cementer. I have successfully completed thousands of casing cement jobs. There are many different senarios that can happen before and after cementing the production string or liner to create a potential blowout. I have also worked for BP Canada. They are one of the better companies to work for in Canada. They in my opinion and experience have and do put safety 1st on all the many number of jobs that I had completed for them over my 8yrs of service. Trust me, they are going to have their BEST COman on this well, conducting the day-day operations. I keep hearing that this well was the 1st to be drilled at such a depth of water. So do you really think BP is going to cut corners? Anyone ever work on a wildcat drill? I have, well here in Canada and the steps and safety precautions that an oil company has to go through and take are enormous, everything is under the microscope. But the pay offs are many fold the costs. So maybe chaulk this one up to mechanical failure, underestimating the pore pressure of the pay zone whatever it may be. I highly doubt human error on this one. Lets get our focus on the NOW! While we still have a chance.
h-1 says:
June 8, 2010 at 21:26

I have read that BP USA is the problem, apparently the other BP units are better run. If you read all the comments you’ll find a wide range of what I trust is actual personal direct experience, which shows an equally wide range of views of how these companies are run.

If you’re asking me, yes, of course I think BP is going to cut corners, and so do quite a few other people. The well was late, they had BP brass on the rig, and they wanted to move it to the next location. Very few people I’m following at this point think this was mechanical failure alone, including some GOM drilling types who seem to know what they are talking about. Tony Hayward listed not 1, but 7 distinct failures that occurred on this blowout. I’m sorry, but if you have that many problems, coupled with ongoing large numbers of safety violations, I’d say, yes, in fact, this was almost certainly the result of unsafe practices. 7 failures points to an overall pattern of unsafe operations, not just one glitch or mechanical failure.

And let’s not forget the political / economic relationships between the Bush era MMS and the drilling industry, that allowed many major regulations to not be enforced or enacted. You know, the ones that Norway and Brazil deepwater insist on…

One thing is for sure, you’re going to see radically higher safety standards. Keep in mind, despite your words, BP assured the MMS here that there was basically no chance of such a deep water blowout. Apparently they were mistaken in their assumption. Also don’t ignore the evidence that is now starting to rise, I quoted one recent bit a few comments down, I think that one is quite interesting. So yes, in fact, I do think that macho attitudes and sloppy cost cutting could easily exist in a company like BP, they have afterall been directly convicted of precisely that problem, and Tony Hayward was in fact brought in to try to reign in that safety attitude in 2007. So yes, I do think that BP is not what you think it is, at least it isn’t in these parts of the world. But several people have pointed out that BP USA is maybe suffering from some type of US type attitude that maybe other BP units don’t suffer from, which would sync your experience with other views here.

By the way, if you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe the dad of one of the dead guys on the Deepwater Horizon:

The highest-ranking crew member to perish aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig warned his family that BP Plc was pressuring him to sacrifice safety for the sake of time and money, his father said.

Jason Anderson, one of 11 rig workers presumed dead after an April 20 explosion and fire sank the Deepwater Horizon and triggered the worst oil spill in U.S. history, told relatives in February and March that BP was urging him to accelerate work on the Macondo well off the Louisiana coast, said his father, Billy Anderson.

On previous wells drilled with the same rig, Jason Anderson, a 35-year-old employee of vessel owner Transocean Ltd., had been able to convince BP representatives to eschew shortcuts that he believed would compromise safety, his father said. But in the eight weeks preceding the disaster, BP stepped up the pressure and overruled safety objections, Billy Anderson, 66, said.
BP Pressured Rig Worker to Hurry Before Disaster, Father Says

Clearly, you can’t discuss with the guy who is dead, but I guess you could talk to his dad, but I imagine he’s probably not in the mood to talk too much at this point.

I’m not sure where you heard this was the first to be drilled at 5k feet, that’s not right, in fact I think the deepwater horizon had just finished a much deeper well prior to this one. At least in deeper water. Latest drill ships can go to 10k feet of water and 40k feet down, so no, that is just wrong report you read somewhere.

I do believe though I’m not certain that this is however the first deepwater well to blowout at 5k feet ocean depths, that might be what you’re thinking about.
Diogenese II says:
June 9, 2010 at 09:47

Thanks for your reply to my questions.

Yes, you are correct that I did not look else where.

This forum was the first I came across and did not know where else to look at the time.

Since then I have viewed Oil drum and a couple other sites and learned a lot.

Maybe this is not really important, but just out of curiousity I would like to know where the rig is in relation to the well?

That information I did not come across.

I heard one comment that the rig is on top of the well, but I don’t think it is, otherwise there would be no way to access the well to work on it. If not thank God that it is not. Unless everything we see and hear is not true.

And what kind of rock is generally beneath the ocean floor sediment and the oil in the gulf or more accurately the area?

And I could not find any discussion on alternative clean up techniques where I was,

Of which the bacteria method seems to be best.

Is there anyone on this post or others who worked on the incident where the bacteria was proven as referred to described in the video link:

On a side note:
I would also like to say that your ( referring to h-2 and h-1 as well ) sensible candidness (intellectual and perceptual honesty/ integrity) and clarity of thought/ professionalism and objective writing is a breath of fresh air and much appreciated amidst so much that is not.

So many people need to learn to not say anything unless it is intelligent, factual, scrutinized/ evaluated and they can prove it or back it up with verifiable facts.

In other words they need to develop an honest and critical thought and speaking process.

Mental fabrications, propaganda, myths, misinformation, beliefs, opinions, hearsay and gossip are not part of that function.

Are you guys the moderators of this list?

I would like to add a few words that someone sent me a few years ago:

“We can have capitalism or a planet to live on but not both.”
h-1 says:
June 9, 2010 at 11:42

I moved the response to Diogenes II to its own posting, Thoughts and Summaries of the BP Spill, it’s too far off topic for this thread.

If you have comments or questions not particularly related to the original question here, BP / Schlumberger, please use one of the response threads I just created for Diogenes questions. This comment thread I want to reserve only for people who have views or inputs that might clarify the situation around this topic.

But thanks for the kind words, it’s not easy trying to maintain those standards you mention. I am certain I will fail now and then, but it’s a good target anyway.
h-1 says:
June 10, 2010 at 10:00

I’d missed this May 31 anonymous (probably insider) report on what happened, read it and decide for yourselves if you feel this adds anything meaningful to the question.
Bob says:
June 11, 2010 at 05:40

This was halliburtons fault I tell you, they did the same thing in the Timor Sea off Australia only 12 months earlier.
BP’s decision to not hire SLB to do the whole cementing process, which they are experts at.
And use the cheaper Halliburton, is what caused this one as well.
This is the same reason Chevron had the blowout in the Timor Sea, SLB is the only know expert never to have a problem in deep water well cementing, yet they cost a hell of a lot of money.
Cut costs don’t hire the best guys for the job, and you get this chaos.
rattman691 says:
June 16, 2010 at 23:44

In my opinion, most people writing comments here do not have a clue about oil wells, much less drilling and completing one. The log that was run or not run, which ever is true, has nothing to do with the well blowing out. The biggest fault lies with our goverment (MMS) giving BP the approval to replace the backup set of Shear Rams with just another set of pipe rams. I doubt both sets of rams would have failed at the same time. The BOP stack normally as a backup set of rams and annular, just in case one fails.
h-1 says:
June 17, 2010 at 12:27

ratttman, you have to do a better than this comment. Demonstrate that most of the drilling guys who took the time to post don’t know what they are talking about, and demonstrate it by proving that you do. I was going to delete your comment, but I’ll give you a chance to show that you’re not just typing some words and hitting enter.

My current best understanding is that the primary actual cause of this blowout was the failure to continuously and actively monitor the mud returns.

Trying to blame the MMS for this, while correct in a certain sense that Bush/Cheney did in fact follow the insane ideology that industry should/could regulate itself, so what better place to put industry people than the MMS, and also correct that the Obama group didn’t act quickly enough to unravel the corruption in the MMS, enabled/generated by the Bush / Cheney ideologues, anyway, trying to then blame the ‘government’ for what almost all serious oil industry guys I am reading agree was very very bad drilling practice on this well by BP, well, you know, that sounds like a typical right wing refusal to assign and take responsibility for actions, I’m sorry to say..

There’s a reason the MMS is being redone to avoid such conflicts of interests, now. That is, the entire structure of industry self regulation promoted by the right wing in the USA is being undone before it destroys the rest of this country. Not undone enough, not undone fast enough, but definitely being corrected to some degree.

So give it another try, but this time try to demonstrate that A: you actually know what you’re talking about, ideally because you do drilling for a living and haven’t followed various blogs who are trying to reassign blame as a form of damage control for your primary information, and B: show explicitly based on the understanding you should have from A: where the posters, and which posters, are wrong or have no clue about what they are talking about.
john says:
June 18, 2010 at 05:49

A: all procedures have to be pre-approved by MMS before work can proceed. so that means the Government is partly to blame. B. The people that died are responsible for well control at all times so that means transocean is to blame . the BOP that failed is also owned and operated by transocean employees only again transocean is to blame. The sad fact is and that is why rattman tells you that most people on here posting do not have a clue what happened , but those of us who drill wells for a living do know and understand what happened. the rest of you can just keep guessing and fabricating crap
john says:
June 18, 2010 at 06:03

By the way I pushed tools on rigs for 15 yrs. and was drilling superintendent for 5 drillings rigs in the water for 5 yrs. and now run my own business drilling wells for the last 5 yrs. and no company man ever made me do something i did not want to do. and if any of your drilling guy’s care to debate this blowout and cause anytime just let me know. that is any one but the socialist Diogenese II
john says:
June 18, 2010 at 06:10

“My current best understanding is that the primary actual cause of this blowout was the failure to continuously and actively monitor the mud returns”

This statement isTRUEin a sense and is the only statement that is in your whole discussion board. the rest is just gibberish, although not the actual cause it is the warning sign that trouble is coming. the cause even i would need more info on the steps that took place proceeding the mud flowing.
h-1 says:
June 18, 2010 at 10:26

Technically on point A you are correct, but you are absolutely ignoring the massive corruption generated by the Bush/Cheney whitehouse that basically neutered the MMS. Since, as you may or may not be aware, the USA has been undergoing a massive economic crisis since about 2008, the result of deregulation of the financial sector, it’s possible, if you extend yourself out of your core competence levels into areas you may be less comfortable in, anyway, it’s just possible that the MMS reform didn’t get a high enough priority in the new administration’s to-do list. But given that the MMS had from what I understand basically evolved into an industry run self-regulatory body, almost totally corrupt in nature, saying the MMS didn’t do x or y is basically the same as saying that the industry, when given the chance to self-regulate, failed to do so. In other words, the industry needs to examine itself, and realize that it is, like all other industries, totally unable to engage in serious self regulation. This doesn’t mean individual companies don’t do great self regulation, they can and do, but the overall industry cannot do this, because anyone at any time can do exactly what BP did should they decide to cut a few corners because the well is late and over budget.

Speaking for myself, the main guys I’m listening to all also are drilling for a living, now, the guys over at and gCaptain and a few other places. So you’ll have to step in line and talk it over with them. You’re the only one, by the way, who states this in the way you do, just so you know.

Now whether the other posters here have a clue or not, I’ll leave that up to posterity and the hearings to say.

But all clearly thought out views are always welcome.
h-1 says:
June 18, 2010 at 10:36

Re diogenes II, merely because someone uses the word ‘capitalism’, that is, the current economic system we live under, doesn’t mean they are a socialist. I have no idea what his politics are. Can we also exclude neo-conservatives from any discussion, to keep it balanced? Given that many prominent old school conservatives, such as Barry Goldwater before he died, think the Bush type neo-cons are technical political fascists, that would seem reasonable, no? So we can just have the centrists in the discussion. Although what passes for Centrism here in the USA would be considered right wing in most of the rest of the world.

Personally I tend to give someone credit for correctly identifying our economic system in a discussion, you know, it’s like saying, that’s a well bore when you’re examining a well bore. I also give them credit for seeing possible shortcomings in it, ie, a process known as thinking for oneself.

Re the company man, you’ll have to argue that with other drilling guys, who have been told this, and who in fact say the exact opposite. So clearly there is a wide range of experience possible in the oil services industry, like anywhere else in life. In fact, one of the most explicit statements I came across was specifically that one problem with the initial rumor report was that they had never seen anyone tell the company man to do anything, ie, their word was final. This is certainly the feeling I’m getting from the ongoing investigation, where apparently even Haffle (I think that’s his name) yelled at some higher up in BP from the rescue ship via satellite phone, saying, are you fucking happy? I told you it was unsafe… and Halliburton also warned against unsafe conditions from what I gather.

Now, clearly here, what you have to identify, since we are in fact discussing the specific actions of a specific company, is if you have worked for BP yourself, in the GOM, BP USA that is. You’ll note in this single discussion thread there are several people who say they have done this. If you have not done this, then it’s unclear to me where your experience re working for BP has come from. But also, as we all know, companies can and do change their internal cultures, and the pressures on any one job, costs, budgets, overruns, might change any situation, unless the company has ultra strict rules internally, like supposedly Exxon does now… after the Exxon Valdez of course.
h-1 says:
June 18, 2010 at 10:44

Re the specific information on the well: The information is out now, has all the paper work in pdf form. That information is being analyzed daily over at in the daily discussion threads. Check out today’s Deepwater Oil Spill – the BP CEO and Congress – and Open Thread: comments for a sample. Also take the time to read the summary of the initial findings re cause of the blowout, but if you don’t have the time, it was sloppy drilling practices. Today’s thread also features a real live retired lawyer (retiredL) who specialized in oil field law, which adds a delightful flavor of actual reality in terms of what is actually going in inside of BP right now.

There’s about 10 active drilling guys there, just so you don’t embarrass yourself, the main ones are ROCKMAN, aliilaali, Heading Out (I believe he’s active, though he may be teaching now, not sure), toolpush, shelburn, R2-3D, plus a bunch of retired drilling guys, whose nicknames usually indicate that, so you can bat around some experiences if you like, I think you might learn something to be honest. (MichaelWSmith is a BP pr shill, he’s on all the main blogs now trying to do damage control.) There’s a huge range of styles out there from what I can see, but there is a general agreement that BP really really screwed up here, and there’s also a general view that the blame lies with BP primarily, and a screwed up regulatory system secondarily. But see my notes on just why that system got screwed up. Remember, you cannot have both deregulation, dismantling and corruption of regulatory bodies, and strong regulation, it’s one or the other, but if you vote for parties that promise to remove it, restrict, denature, it, then don’t be surprised when the sh#t hits the fan years later, and for God’s sake have the decency to take some of the personal responsibility for the results of your votes, if that’s not too much to ask… or is taking personal responsibility just something that applies to other people, never oneself, especially when it comes to the results of supporting a certain type of ideology?

By the way, most of the useless comments in this discussion thread were removed, I left only the ones I thought raised interesting questions in some way or other, and I left all the ones that seemed to indicate that the person posting it had direct personal experience. You might find it useful to ask yourself if your personal direct experience covers all possible types of personal direct experience in the drilling sector, ie, you’ve worked for every single company, dealt with every company man, worked on every job, with every services company, every year, over time. If the answer to this question is no, which I assume it must be, then I’d have to ask you where your dead certainty that everyone else is wrong comes from?
h-1 says:
June 18, 2010 at 14:20

i want to give just one example of why what one person knows reflects only their own company/direct local experience, not a general rule, and I assume such an example should be all that anyone who is reasonably intelligent needs to demonstrate this point.

ozamerican on June 18, 2010 – 10:51am Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

My question is bigger, about process:

What role does the CEO have in risk management?

I will say that I work for a former Halliburton subsidiary, and there’s NOTHING we do that doesn’t go up the chain of command and get signed off on at the highest level.

I can’t BELIEVE that BP didn’t have a similar risk management system in place, and that ultimately, Mr Hayward didn’t sign off, too, or one at least of his very close delegates.

RISK management is EVERYthing to companies like this. Anyone who’s been there will know how front and central this is.
PassingThrough on June 18, 2010 – 11:09am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

A CEO will head up the process that sets the Risk Management rules for the company. Procedures will be developed and written up, perhaps a proprietary software system, a Permit System, a Safe System of Work, will be bought in. You often find a unique safety culture has been developed in a major corporation, Zero Tolerance, No Excuses, Golden Rules, that sort of thing. The CEO often signs it off.

But on a day-to-day basis, the signing off of the actual permit-to-work will go to a fairly low level manager. Very few processes or procedures will get anywhere near the attention of the CEO in a large corporation (imo).
[-] ozamerican on June 18, 2010 – 11:40am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

I disagree. In the (former hallburton subsidiary) company I work for, I often had to get (even small) contracts signed off on by the person reporting to the equivalent of the person directly reporting to Tony Hayward. No “fairly low level manager.” I don’t know where you work, but I know what it’s like where I work and my email address is still begins with “HALHOUSTON”.
[-] ozamerican on June 18, 2010 – 11:44am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Sorry, not my email address, but my intranet login begins with HALHOUSTON.

No big deal but I know how the sign-offs work.
PassingThrough on June 18, 2010 – 1:32pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

ozamerican, sorry, I should have said my comments are based on my experience here in the UK. It may be different where you work. I work in literally hundreds of different places (I carry out safety inspections and audit maintenance work).

Note that what the first poster ‘knew’ only reflected what existed in his company, while what another poster ‘knew’ only reflected what was the case in the UK. Now, both guys have learned that there are differences in this and an absence of absolutes. Now can we move along and try to resume a civil intelligent conversation minus the pointless chest thumping and ‘everyone but me is wrong’ type babble?