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OT: Engineer arrested, feds probe BP's spill response

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  • OT: Engineer arrested, feds probe BP's spill response

    Remember we were looking at the flow rate, and it looked way more than BP was claiming? Several universities were doing flow estimates based on the video feed, and they were coming out with much higher flow rates?

    We/they were right.
    http://apnews.excite.com/article/201...D9UBQE8G2.html

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) - By arresting a former BP engineer Tuesday, federal prosecutors for the first time showed their hand in the Gulf oil spill case, saying they were probing whether BP PLC and its employees broke the law by intentionally lowballing how much oil was spewing from its out-of-control well.

    Kurt Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting about 300 text messages that indicated the blown-out well was spewing far more crude than the company was telling the public at the time.

    Prosecutors also said BP gave the public an optimistic account of its May 2010 efforts to plug the well via a technique called a "top kill," even though the company's internal data and some of the text messages showed the operation was likely to fail.

    An accurate flow-rate estimate is necessary to determine penalties BP and its subcontractors could face under the Clean Water Act. In court papers, prosecutors appeared to suggest the company was also worried about the effect of the disaster on its stock price.

    Under the Clean Water Act, polluters can be fined $1,100 to $4,300 per barrel of spilled oil, with the higher amount imposed if the government can show the disaster was caused by gross negligence.

    In public statements, the company professed optimism that the top kill would work, giving it a 60 to 70 percent chance of success.

    On May 26, the day the top kill began, Mix estimated in a text to his supervisor that more than 15,000 barrels of oil per day were spilling - three times BP's public estimate of 5,000 barrels and an amount much greater than what BP said the top kill could probably handle.

    At the end of the first day, Mix texted his supervisor: "Too much flow rate - over 15,000 and too large an orifice." [For Top Kill to work] Despite Mix's findings, BP continued to make public statements that the top kill was proceeding according to plan
    , prosecutors said. On May 29, the top kill was halted and BP announced its failure."
    Last edited by lazlo; 04-25-2012, 09:50 AM.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

  • #2
    He should be arrested for being so stupid as to send information proving misconduct by texting.

    Steve

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SteveF
      He should be arrested for being so stupid as to send information proving misconduct by texting.
      He's a patsy. Apparently he was one of the engineers on the platform, providing realtime updates to the execs.
      News reports are suggesting the FBI is going to play the Mafia strategy on him: throw the book at him to get him to flip on his manager, then work their way up the foodchain.

      An executive obviously made the decision to lie about the spill's flow, and stage the top kill as a media stunt to buy time...
      Last edited by lazlo; 04-25-2012, 10:58 AM.
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by lazlo
        He's a patsy. Apparently he was one of the engineers on the platform, providing realtime updates to the execs.
        You're probably correct. It's way overdue and one person is certainly not the extent of the criminal negligence. Keep in mind there was not only the environmental damage, but also the death of eleven employees on the rig. IMHO that should bring at minimum manslaughter or even 2nd degree murder charges.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lazlo
          He's a patsy. ....
          News reports are suggesting the FBI is going to play the Mafia strategy on him: throw the book at him to get him to flip on his manager, then work their way up the foodchain.
          Agreed. He deleted the texts - that's obstruction. The rest of the comments in the article indicate he was doing his job and reporting real numbers to his superiors. Somewhere above him somebody was doing bad things.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rancherbill
            Agreed. He deleted the texts - that's obstruction. The rest of the comments in the article indicate he was doing his job and reporting real numbers to his superiors.
            BP says they fired him because he deleted the text messages. That's really ironic, since he was surely ordered to delete the texts.
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lazlo

              Under the Clean Water Act, polluters can be fined $1,100 to $4,300 per barrel of spilled oil, with the higher amount imposed if the government can show the disaster was caused by gross negligence.

              Technical issue.
              It wasn't clean water, you can drink clean water.
              .

              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



              Comment


              • #8
                i would say its impossible to guess the flow rate ...as the thing was acting like a venturi and pulling everything around it into the stream .

                all the best.markj

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lazlo
                  BP says they fired him because he deleted the text messages. That's really ironic, since he was surely ordered to delete the texts.

                  Was it his personal phone? I have to periodically delete old texts because my phone's memory is full.... maybe he didn't do it maliciously.

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                  • #10
                    Problem as I see it is corporate behavior. One long tested remedy for bad behavior is negative reinforcement. Corporations are not people. They are organizations whose activities are directed by people made responsible for their operation by stockholders. Bad overall corporate behavior results from direction and the remedy is seldom cash judgements, fines, or abstract penalties. That failure is human and the human responsible should take the consequences. Generals don't blame the privates. Bad generals are retired in disgrace, cashiered or shot. Bad corporate leaders get bonuses. Why?

                    I contend that corporate leadership have come to think of themselves as insulated from the consequences of their bad decisions. What would happen if the CEO and board got no bonuses for the year the corporation failed to meet goals, suffered reverses. What would happen if the CEO was seen on the chain doing the perp waalk in yellow coveralls the morning after a well blew out, tanker stranding, or evidence of bribes, graft, othr forms of political corruption, or failure ti accept responmsibiltity and making immediate remedy for faults, failures etc?

                    Stonewalling, denial, obfuscation, shifting blame should be grounds for instant dismissal or jail time with the uneducated and unwashed for cellmates. Things do go wrong: immediate acceptance of responsibility, remedy, institution of reforms are evidence of responsibility and should be rewarded.

                    Why not? What am I missing?
                    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 04-26-2012, 01:06 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This guy is going to sing like a bird, there will be more to flip before its over.
                      James Kilroy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jkilroy
                        This guy is going to sing like a bird, there will be more to flip before its over.
                        I can just picture the conversion with the FBI:
                        "We're not talking about white-collar resort prison. No, no, no. We're talking about federal POUND ME IN THE @#! prison!"

                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If I was that engineer, I would be more afraid of the people with billions of dollars willing to let millions gallons of toxic oil into the ocean and lie about it just to improve there profits slightly, then the cops.

                          I mean, if they will effectively posion millions of people and billions of animals/fish for a buck, What do you think they will do to you?
                          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Isn't this what big corporations do everyday. Personally I can't get even remotely indignant.

                            Much more interesting watching José Mourinho get his arse kicked.

                            Phil

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                            • #15
                              No doubt this guy has been setup by the big interest as someone that they can sacrifice. He will know some stuff but not a lot, he won't have anything on anyone too far up.
                              James Kilroy

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