Friday, July 2, 2010

BP's Bob Dudley Takes Gulf Coast Restoration Questions on PBS NewsHour via Google and YouTube



While I prepared for an appointment yesterday, July 1, I listened to this interview of BP's chief of Gulf Coast restoration Bob Dudley on PBS NewsHour. By no means is he as daft as the oil giant's CE0 Tony Hayward, but I'm pretty sure I heard him say that while BP is doing its best to stop the oil leak from the Deepwater Horizon rig, the company did not anticipate this kind of accident. That's clear to us, and Hayward also admitted BP had no plan for an oil leak a mile below the surface on June 3.

But this was the question from Ray Suarez and answer from Dudley that I heard regarding BP's expectations in the Gulf and lack of preparedness:
Q: Your company had to make assurances to the U.S. before it was able to extract oil. What should've gotten more attention, is the fact you were assuring the U.S. that if there were a leak of even greater magnitude, you'd be able to handle it. Now you're struggling 70+ days in to handle even one-quarter of the amount you said in the filings you could. What happened?

A: What's different about this event is it's a continuous flow. No one anticipated that.

Q: Do you think this could've happened at any offshore rig. Can deepwater drilling ever be safe?

A: What we've learned on this incident is only part of what we're going to learn through the investigation. I believe offshore deepwater oil and gas, it's a tough choice societies have to make because the world depends on energy and oil. Over time there will be a transition... to a lower-carbon economy, but it's going to take time. The fact that we have been drilling for 20 years in the Gulf without an accident, says that I believe the U.S. will need to go back to a period of producing oil and gas in the deep water.
Earlier in the interview, Dudley reminded Ray Suarez that the Deepwater Horizon incident it is not a spill but an ongoing leak. He mentioned the continuous flow at least three times.

Dudley also assured Kirk Cheramie of the United Houma Nation, who said there are 6,000 families in the UHN affected by the spill, that BP is in clean-up for the long haul to do whatever it takes to make good on the claims of businesses and individuals.
We're writing the checks. We have written as of this morning $138 million of checks. So, we are going make good for it. We put aside $20 billion in an escrow account that will be used to pay claims not only just for now, but for as long as the impact is there on your businesses. And that will be not only after we shut the well off, but this cleanup is going to take some time.
The full interview is only available at the PBS NewsHour website. Producers collected questions from people via YouTube and Google, and some of the questions were pretty tough. The second question was why hasn't BP been more proactive. Dudley didn't pretend BP has all the answers.

He also talked about how winds from Alex, the first Hurricane of the season, impacted the clean-up efforts.
In terms of the storm itself, it has sent eight-to-12-foot waves that have come up from the southeast to the northwest right through the area where the operations are and the oil.

So, it's brought in oil, unfortunately, from the Panhandle of Florida to Louisiana right now a higher rate than it has been over the last few days. The waves do not allow us to skim. The booms are ineffective, and the dispersant can't be laid down. So, we're waiting until Saturday, when the waves come down. And we're going to be ready to be back out on the water.

Crews have been working in the evening and at night right now through these three days to clean the oil on the beaches.
He also talked about what may happen if BP's relief wells don't work in August. Dudley is on the BP Board and reprorts to Hayward. Speaking of the troubled CEO, the AP reports that an Irish bookie/bookmaker said, "Odds are, BP's embattled chief executive Tony Hayward will be out of a job before the end of the year." Folks are betting against him 3-1.

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