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New Concern About a Second BP Rig

May 24, 2010

“Deepwater Horizon’s Blowout,” Part 2.

60 Minutes;photovideo

Former BP employee Ken Abbott has told CBS that the BP deepwater oil rig Atlantis is a bigger threat than the Deepwater Horizon.

Abbott, who joined BP in 2008 after working for Shell and GE, managed thousands of engineering drawings for the Atlantis platform.  The drawings serve as blueprints, operators’ manuals. They show how to make the platform work and how to shut it down in emergency.

But Abbot found that 89% of the drawings had not been inspected by BP’s engineers and not been approved.  Even worse he found that 95% of the underwater welding plans had never been approved either. Abbot called it “critical” that these drawings be improved before the welds were done.

BP internal emails say that the lack of approval of the drawings could result in catastrophic operator errors.  The email reads: “Currently there are hundreds if not thousands of Subsea documents that have never been finalized.” The email author called the practice “fundamentally wrong.”

“I’ve never seen this kind of attitude, where safety doesn’t seem to and when you complain of a problem, like Barry [Duff, the author of the email] did, like I did, and try to fix it, you’re just criticized and pushed aside.” Ken Abbot was laid off.

Abbot is filing suit in an attempt to have the federal government shut down Atlantis.

The Atlantis is pumping 200,000 barrels of oil a day, a figure which is expected to quadruple when an additional sixteen wells are drilled next year.

“If something happens there,” Abbott said, “it’ll make the Deepwater Horizon look like a bubble in the water.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rolland Miller permalink
    May 24, 2010 3:15 pm

    This kind of shoddy work by the oil companies is completely unacceptable.

    This is a good example of lack of regulation and inspectors.

    Big business today is so focussed on the bottom line that it is prepared to destroy our environment and our planet.

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