Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BP Oil Spill: Case of BOP Modified in China

It turns out the blowout preventer (BOP) originally manufactured by Cameron International was extensively modified under the order and instruction from BP. And that modification was done in China by a Chinese subcontractor to save money.

UK's Guardian reports:

BP oil spill: failed safety device on Deepwater Horizon rig was modified in China: Blow-out preventer was sent to Far East at BP's request rather than overhauled in US (Tim Webb, 7/18/2010 Guardian)

"BP ordered the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, whose explosion led to the worst environmental disaster in US history, to overhaul a crucial piece of the rig's safety equipment in China, the Observer has learnt. The blow-out preventer – the last line of defence against an out-of-control well – subsequently failed to activate and is at the centre of investigations into what caused the disaster.

"Experts say that the practice of having such engineering work carried out in China, rather than the US, saves money and is common in the industry.

"...There is no evidence that the significant modifications to the blowout preventer (BOP), which were carried out in China in 2005, caused the equipment to fail. But industry lawyers said BP could be made liable for any mistakes that a Chinese subcontractor made carrying out the work. It would be almost impossible to secure damages in China, where international law is barely recognised.

"It is understood that lawyers for Cameron International, the manufacturer of the BOP, will argue the device was so significantly modified in China that it no longer resembled the original component, and that Cameron should therefore not be held liable.

"Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, which bought the BOP from Cameron, has already told congressional hearings into the disaster that the modifications were carried out at BP's request and "under its direction" as the lessee of the rig. BP and Cameron declined to comment this weekend." [Emphasis is mine. The article continues.]

Well, well. Then the cheap plastic seal made in China may have indeed been used in the BOP that was modified in China by a Chinese company...

It is the culture of BP, I'm afraid, fostered under the BP's previous CEO Lord Browne of Madingley, who also happened to be a director of Goldman Sachs until May 2007: to cut corners, to deceive, to pretend (that BP is a "green" company, for one), to suck up to the power that be, wherever they operate.


Anonymous said...

The gulf disaster is not just an extinction level event -- it's pretty dang funny...

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

O M G. I'm just shocked.

You know, right after the camera finished filming the pelicans being tenderly washed, they broke the necks of the birds. Photo-Op for sheeple is over!

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