×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Modeling Software Showed BP Cement As Unstable

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the many-points-of-failure dept.

Earth 160

DMandPenfold writes "Advanced modeling software analyzed the cementing conditions for BP's Deepwater Horizon oil well as unstable, days before the blast that killed 11 oil rig workers and let millions of barrels of oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. Halliburton, the company that carried out the cement job, used its own modeling software called OptiCem, to support arguments that more stability was needed for the piping and cement. ... An OptiCem test on 15 April, five days before the blast, stipulated that from Halliburton’s point of view, 21 ‘centralizers’ needed to be added to the well bore. The centralizers are used to provide space around the oil pipe casing within the well, as cement is poured around it, and are a vital part of safe drilling. BP initially adhered to the OptiCem software test and ordered 15 extra centralizers. But when technicians on the rig received the extra centralizers they mistakenly decided the new centralizers were the incorrect type. At this point BP proceeded with the drilling anyway, with the six centralizers, deciding another known technique of injecting cement in other places would work."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

160 comments

twitter link is broken (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206020)

it says the story is in news.slashdot.org; there's no news.slashdot.org it looks.

Paranoid Mode: ON (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206060)

Why is this story hitting the front page on a day when you can't click on news links?
Why is the slashdot staff so incompetent as to not have this fixed already? Oh yeah, because people pay for subscriptions even though they are total failures.

Re:Paranoid Mode: ON (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206088)

I can click on the links just fine ...

news.slashdot.org down ? (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206194)

He means news.slashdot.org links.
I also get "404 Not Found" for these links, like News: Firefox 4 Regains Speed Mojo With No. 2 Placing [slashdot.org].

Re:news.slashdot.org down ? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206278)

Worse, you can't just drop "news." from the URI on the front page. I only got a URI which I could drop the hostname from by visiting the RSS feed! WTF?

Re:news.slashdot.org down ? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206282)

You can just remove the 'news.' part of the URL once you get the 404, and it'll work.

Re:news.slashdot.org down ? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206432)

No, I can't. Tried that. Just redirects in a loop. That's why I said I had to go to RSS to get a working link.

Re:news.slashdot.org down ? (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206554)

Yes and no.

The story link [slashdot.org] works, but the article.pl link [slashdot.org] keeps redirecting to the broken news.slashdot.org server.
However, when logged in, I only get article.pl links (maybe 'cause I'm using the classic index).

Just in the case where a Slashdot staff would read this and didn't notice, http://news.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] redirects to http://news.slashdot.org/www.sourceforge.net [slashdot.org] ...

But as I write that, I notice that news.slashdot.org has now been fixed.

Re:news.slashdot.org down ? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207788)

I can click on those, is this a problem that has now been fixed, or am I missing something?

BP (1, Funny)

bucklesl (73547) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206096)

Long live Cthulhu.

Re:BP (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206150)

Actually I do believe

"Thank you Captain Hindsight", is more appropriate of a comment here.

Re:BP (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207608)

Not really. It was an obvious lack of foresight. They were warned. They simply took a chance that nothing would happen. The most appropriate comment would be "living on the edge".

Politically connected (2, Insightful)

revscat (35618) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206136)

So what? BP has massive amounts of money, as well as political connections out the ass. Nothing is going to happen to them, even if half of the Gulf Coast population winds up with cancer. Complain away, Slashdot. If it makes you feel better to post on the intertubes, excellent. Meanwhile, nothing gets done.

Re:Politically connected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206172)

I hear you. I can't wait for big brother to come hold all our hands so that we don't have to get anything done on our own.

You're a lazy git.

Re:Politically connected (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206198)

What I don't understand, with these "Corporation that doesn't give a fuck and has more politicians in its pocket than you ever will fucks over some more luckless saps" stories is why there isn't more extralegal violence associated with them.

Obviously, subjecting large corporations to serious penalties under law would be unamerican, and we generally avoid it; but America is crawling with angry and well armed people, many without too much to lose, and spree-killing is something we start practicing in high school.

Why isn't there an enraged ex-fisherman with an AR-15 lurking outside the window of every BP C-level whose name is publicly known? People get killed all the time over petty shit, why not the big stuff?

Re:Politically connected (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206226)

People feel powerless over big stuff and don't think that their lone action will have any effect. There are likely more consequences associated with such an action than rewards, and even fishermen can figure that one out.

Re:Politically connected (1, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206244)

Given the number of stories where people either come to work and shoot up the place after being laid off, or even murder-suicide their own families and then themselves due to economic stresses, I'm not at all sure that it is rationality saving them.

Obviously, the rational thing is to fatalistically suck it up and try to move on, and I'd fully expect most people to do so; but an irrationality incidence of less than 1 in 1000 adds up to more than a few very dangerious people on a population level...

Re:Politically connected (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206338)

Obviously, the rational thing is to fatalistically suck it up and try to move on

That depends.

Sometimes, the most rational course of action requires doing what little you can to send a simple, clear, and potentially bloody message of "don't do this again". In particular, when you have almost nothing left to lose, and those who destroyed you have almost no risk of seeing any meaningful penalties.

A handful of BP execs dead at the hands of the fishermen they ruined would do a whole heap more to prevent another such catastrophe, than any monetary penalties ever could. "Companies" behave like complete sociopaths, abusing both convention and law to maximize profits; the humans running companies, however, can experience real fear.

Re:Politically connected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206794)

This is how the animal libbers targeted Huntingdon Life Sciences in the UK, by menacing their staff. It was moderately effective - the staff hated it and extra security was expensive.

No guns though, because we're British. ;)

Re:Politically connected (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207838)

Yes, and it was generally admin staff who suffered most, not just the directors. Same with BP, you'e going to have a much easier time blowing up some randompetrol station than stalking Tony Thingymabob down.

Re:Politically connected (2, Informative)

fat4eyes (1233086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206968)

The problem with threatening people with death for their crimes is that they compensate by making sure that their crimes are big enough to warrant the risk of losing their life. Killing some executive does not kill the company and its drive for profit, and the one that replaces him will just commit a bigger crime that is worth the risk of being killed. And since corporations will always be driven by profit, the only real way to prevent such negligence from happening again is to make it such that such negligence that leads to damage to other people's livelihoods is _not_ profitable. Then it's in their interest not to screw up.

Crime pays very well? (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207728)

So what you're saying is: If you're going to commit a crime, commit the biggest crime you can, because the bigger the crime, the better it pays, and therefore, is worth the risk to your life/freedom.

That explains Bernie Madoff then. I would suggest then, that we ALL run Ponzi Schemes and get rich, go to jail for 150 years, but at least our families will be set for a few generations.

Your argument basically states that crime is OK if the crime is for $billions, but the mugger on the street who robs you of $60 at gunpoint is a drag on society that needs to be jailed for years at a rate of $100,000 per year.

Re:Politically connected (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207452)

the humans running companies, however, can experience real fear.

I think this approach would make things much worse instead of better. In the risk/reward analysis, the lavish lifestyle that the executive gets for his behavior already rivals the value of his own life. Coercion works better against poor people, who might not risk their own lives for $200. But for $200,000,000, the rich person will just use some of that money to add walls, security cameras, and hire body guards. And this reaction is damaging, because the poorer people then have to live in a more security paranoid society, as well as pay for it ultimately. We already see a lot of this. And it makes appealing to the rich person's sense of civic responsibility, already weak, even less effective, because they see all the little people as dangerous enemies.

As ineffective as the ballot box approach is, for various reasons, I still think its far better than the violent approach. If people were less selfish, and voted more consistently for lawmakers that make fair laws, then the law would make abuse a lot harder for the wealthy.

Re:Politically connected (2, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207454)

Wait a minute. Why is BP getting blamed for all this? Sure, they operated the well, but it was all rental equipment. Why Transocean or Hyundai getting any heat? Three quarters of the incidents on oil drilling platforms are on Transocean owned platforms, even though less than half the rigs being operated are from Transocean. Oh, and guess who manufactured the blow-out preventer on the Deep-Horizon Oil Spill. You guessed it: Transocean.

Re:Politically connected (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207884)

Wait a minute. Why is BP getting blamed for all this? Sure, they operated the well, but it was all rental equipment. Why Transocean or Hyundai getting any heat? Three quarters of the incidents on oil drilling platforms are on Transocean owned platforms, even though less than half the rigs being operated are from Transocean. Oh, and guess who manufactured the blow-out preventer on the Deep-Horizon Oil Spill. You guessed it: Transocean.

BP are evil Europeans (and therefore probably socialists), Transocean is a good old US corporation.

Simples.

Re:Politically connected (3, Insightful)

fat4eyes (1233086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34208122)

The same reason why you get charged for manslaughter if you run over someone with a rented car: you were driving.

Re:Politically connected (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206342)

Usually those shootings are not premeditated - the guy just picks up his gun, drives back to work/home and starts shooting.

Killing some executives requires a plan. Finding their addresses, driving hundreds of miles, etc; Plenty of time to lose the "heat of the moment" and realize the consequences of such actions.

Also, having a company and not a person to be raged at makes it harder. They don't have such strong feelings against the particular people, they might not even know who they are.

Re:Politically connected (1)

eth1 (94901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207708)

Killing some executives requires a plan. Finding their addresses, driving hundreds of miles, etc; Plenty of time to lose the "heat of the moment" and realize the consequences of such actions.

I'd not expect to see such a thing from people merely ruined financially; however, if, as one of the OPs suggested, you have a bunch of people basically already sentenced to death from cancer caused by this, it would be a *completely* different story.

Divorce your spouse (if any), and make sure they and the kids end up with all the assets. Then you have a few months for your crusade before you die anyway. Heck, getting killed by the cops during your rampage might even save you from a slow, painful death from the cancer.

Re:Politically connected (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206354)

Being laid off is a small thing, compared to region-wide ecological and economic disaster. A school or workplace incident would feel more approachable, I suspect: the perpetrator is familiar with the the target, the victims, etc. It's not storming a tower the size of a city block and rooting around for strangers in an unfamiliar setting while the SWAT team assembles outside preparing to take you out.

Of course, if you get a sufficiently sized group of co-nuts, then all of a sudden you have momentum and the force of history and blah blah blah. People from groups, from families to gangs to countries to tackle problems they instinctively know they can't take on by themselves. Apparently people down there don't see this as a big enough deal, or having a high enough payout, to form a group and try the violence route. Or maybe its because its the gulf coast and they aren't literate enough to be able to organize.

Re:Politically connected (-1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206280)

Because the federal government is mainly to blame for the scope of this disaster (and the moratorium, which helped kill the already sick economy), so the fisherman would be shooting at elected officials and that usually gets you executed or put away for life.

Re:Politically connected (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206730)

He'll get around to it right after "Are you smarter than a 5th grader" is on and he watches the latest "American Idol" with his wife.

Re:Politically connected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206994)

Because it would be immoral to kill people just because they were greedy or negligent? Those C-level execs are people, too.

because you can sue BP (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207292)

for more than the gratification of taking a shot at them would give you. Also, you'd have to shoot an awful lot of BP managers before you would get anywhere near as much effect as shooting the guy that just fired you. Shoot just one, and he will never be able to fire you again, but BP will just put another manager in the place of the missing one, without any less effectivity of the company after your deed.

Re:Politically connected (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207656)

It's because the government and corporations are responsible for a vast majority of extralegal violence cases. They use them to exterminate their opponents, and at the same time, securing a platform to get votes. The sheep go gaga over these "tragedies", and will pretty much vote however the pollies tell them.

BTW, if it's not clear by now that I'm joking, then there is either something very, very wrong with people in general, or just something very, very wrong with you.

Re:Politically connected (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207664)

Perhaps society is more civilized than you give it credit for. If anyone is most likely to practice violence against BP, it's environmental extremists, not angry ex-fishermen.

Re:Politically connected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34207744)

It's all well explained right here [whale.to] (pdf). The concept is fairly simple. Sex deprivation, like sleep deprivation will make you crazy. Unwilling to act against your aggressors. In fact you will end up supporting them.

Re:Politically connected (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207810)

Why isn't there an enraged ex-fisherman with an AR-15 lurking outside the window of every BP C-level whose name is publicly known? People get killed all the time over petty shit, why not the big stuff?

Maybe because they rate murder more of a sin than losing their fucking job?

Wondering about that myself (4, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207842)

Yeah, I can't figure it out. People on the street shoot each other over liquor store robberies for a $100, but when your livelihood is affected to the tune of tens of thousands, people sit in their sofas watching American Idol.

Never mind some fisherman picking off BP execs, I'm shocked no one has been picking off mortgage brokers, bankers, and other high-ups that handed us the Great Depression, that will essentially, last for the remainer of our lives (all indicators point to things getting worse, not better, unless you're already in the top 1%).

Even more amsuing is that that south is filled with gun-nuts, you'd think that at least one of them would get riled up enough to do something. Amazing that they'll shoot at each other about a scratch on the pickup truck, but when it comes down to REAL things, they act like they have no power.

Maybe there's something to those chemtrails after all, as the populace is handing the country over to a few elite, with no fight whatsoever. John Carpenter's "They Live" is starting to look like a documentary. Where's the Hoffman lenses when you need them?

Re:Politically connected (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34208100)

Obviously, subjecting large corporations to serious penalties under law would be unamerican, and we generally avoid it; but America is crawling with angry and well armed people, many without too much to lose, and spree-killing is something we start practicing in high school.
 

BP could face as much as $17.6 billion in civil penalties, based on a federal panel of experts' estimate on Aug. 2 that about 4.1 million barrels of oil leaked from its well into the Gulf. BP: Now Come the Fines [businessweek.com]

  BP paid the two largest fines in OSHA history – $87.43 million and $21.36 million – for willful negligence that led to the deaths of 15 workers and injured 170 others in a March 2005 refinery explosion in Texas.
o In September 2005, OSHA cited BP for 296 “Egregious Willful Violations” and other violations associated with the explosion, fining BP $21.36 million and entering into a settlement agreement under which BP agreed to corrective actions to eliminate hazards similar to those that caused the explosion. Cost of Doing Business: BP’s $730 million in fines/settlements + 2 criminal convictions [publiccitizenenergy.org]

They don't seem to care about fines, so I guess that trhey are just that ingrained that hurting them is like hurting yourself.

Re:Politically connected (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206252)

So what? BP has massive amounts of money, as well as political connections out the ass. Nothing is going to happen to them, even if half of the Gulf Coast population winds up with cancer. Complain away, Slashdot. If it makes you feel better to post on the intertubes, excellent. Meanwhile, nothing gets done.

The obvious solution is to publicly angst over our powerlessness. Meanwhile, nothing gets done.

Re:Politically connected (4, Informative)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206372)

So what? BP has massive amounts of money, as well as political connections out the ass.

Something did get done. Look at the graph of BP stock [google.com]. Zoom to 1 year and notice the huge dip following april 20th. They (and their stockholders) did lose money over this...
Beside that they also (temporarily) lost political connections, to them it's all fine when it's deals in the dark, but when the spotlight is on BP no politician wants to support them.

So their irresponsibilty caused them to lose some of the two powers they care about, money and connections. It will make them think twice before fucking up on this scale ever again, they may not care about the environment or the fishermen, but they care about losing money and connections.

Re:Politically connected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206862)

Um...

Yeah, the stock dropped from 60 down to 27, and then people who had lots and lots of money and political connections bought the stock. It's now at 40...so those people who had lots of money and lots of political connections have made 40% on their purchase...I bet they'd like to see that change to 100%...

Re:Politically connected (2, Interesting)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207934)

I bought-in like mad when the stock started going below $40/share. I made a bunch of loot, and I'm just a regular working Joe. There's a reason stocks are 'public', it means anyone can buy them.

It drives me mad when people say that investing is something for 'people with lots of power and money', It's not rocket-science, and anyone can do it. Investing has netted me about $15K of spending cash in the last two years, all on a middle-class salary.

Anyone with half a brain knows that institutional investors were dumping BP stock because their clients were angry at them and it was driving the stock down; the fiscal fundamentals would put the shares back over $40 once things stabilized. I'm still holding, though. I suspect a lot of the $20B put aside won't get used and BP will resume dividends again soon. Once that happens, there's no reason the stock won't bump up another 30%.

Re:Politically connected (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206906)

So their irresponsibilty caused them to lose some of the two powers they care about, money and connections. It will make them think twice before fucking up on this scale ever again, they may not care about the environment or the fishermen, but they care about losing money and connections.

Maybe, but I doubt it'll make a significant long term change.
Also, do you really think that BP's example will have any significant impact on the way other companies operate (except, maybe, to take measures to insulate themselves from repercussions)?

Answered your own question (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207488)

except, maybe, to take measures to insulate themselves from repercussions

Thing is, how do you insulate yourself from these sorts of repercussions? In the case of an oil company, it's that you do pretty much whatever is necessary to prevent a well blowout like this from happening again.

Why? It's bad publicity, it costs money to clean up, you're not making money from the oil from that well, etc...

The cost of having to deal with even a rare blowout, compared to the cost of safety equipment, is such that it's nearly always better to spend the money on the safety equipment, studies, and engineering solutions than to screw up and have a major leak.

Even if the executives are moustache twirling evil, they're still driven by profit. Oil dumped in the ocean is oil that they can't sell, which costs them money. They don't want that.

Re:Politically connected (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207120)

In this day and age, it wouldn't really matter.

Let's say BP fucks up another oil well. Here's what happens.

1) BP does a cleanup operation as best they can while their stock takes a nosedive.

2a) Things get so bad that they file for bankruptcy protection.

2b) They manage to get through things financially without much of an issue.

3) BP is rebranded under an entirely different name.

4) As the logo and name will be carefully designed to be nothing like BP, most people will not recognize BP 2.0 for what it is. Almost all of the employees and assets will remain intact, and much of the upper management and board will remain in place. An aggressive marketing campaign will help reinforce this rebranding due to Advertising 101: if you shout often enough and loudly enough, people will listen.

5) Legally, almost nothing will happen to BP. No economic sanctions, no jail time, etc. They'd likely "sell" all of their assets to the "new" company so that the old BP virtually doesn't exist anymore in a legal sense.

6) Another corporation gets off scot free. Repeat as necessary.

Re:Politically connected (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207572)

You forgot: 2c) Shareholders sue BP management for mismanagement that caused them to lose billions, management gets jailtime. One of the few useful perks of capitalism (although it can be argued also one of the most dangerous)...

Re:Politically connected (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207804)

Zoom to 1 year and notice the huge dip following april 20th. They (and their stockholders) did lose money over this...

Nonsense. You only lose money when you sell the stock. If you simply hang onto it until the price goes back up, you've lost nothing. You may lose some paper value for the duration, but that isn't the same thing as hard cash,

Re:Politically connected (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207876)

They (and their stockholders) did lose money over this...

*It's but a scratch.. No it isn't. Your arms are off!... I've had worse...*

A simple name change would be the maximum effect needed to recoup any minor losses. Their biggest expense would be the new stationary.

Re:Politically connected (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206578)

It'd be a start if the blame was even being spread fairly. This US obsession with blaming BP entirely largely started by Obama as he needed to deflect political attention away from his own incompetence, but BP was only one of a few companies who deserve blame. BP was certainly the majority stakeholder, but whilst BP has from the start accepted it's fair share of the blame - it never once said it'd pay anything less than the full costs of cleanup and compensation. You can't even claim that BP were the ones raking the profits from the well and hence the ones that deserve to pay because other companies including the US oil company Anadarko, and Japanese company Mitsui also had a share in the well but to date have dodged all responsibility, and then there's the fact that companies like Transocean and Halliburton still profited from the well by being contracted to play the part they did in the first place.

I'm amazed that so little criticism is being pushed towards Halliburton, when it seems they were in fact guilty of at least some degree of negligence - even the US panel investigating the spill is beginning to accept that now-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11648354 [bbc.co.uk]

It's incredible that Americans seem to feel the need for a foreign bogeyman in incidents like this, that despite Halliburton's record in it's dealings regarding the Iraq war all blame is deflected away from it, and companies like Anadarko, Mitsui, and Transocean.

Sure BP fucked up, sure they were getting the biggest slice of profits, but at least they're the one company out of all those involved who has from the start been willing to pay for the fuckup, even though it seems pretty now that BP might actually have been the company that least screwed up compared to it's partner Transocean, and compared ot Halliburton:

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/u-s-spill-panel-examines-causes-of-bp-oil-spill-reuters_molt-7a2344c54e1b.html;_ylt=Atte73PsYsywCFWErVA85UrBXGwF;_ylu=X3oDMTE2MTRia2tlBHBvcwMxMgRzZWMDdG9wc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDdXNzcGlsbHBhbmVs?x=0 [yahoo.com]

It's sad that the one company that takes responsibility and offers to pay full costs from the outset gets demonised, whilst those others who are responsible keep getting given a free ride by the press and public and are still to this day refusing to accept blame, or pay their share of the costs despite the mounting evidence that they were in fact more responsible for fucking up than BP themselves.

Re:Politically connected (2, Insightful)

cusco (717999) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207914)

The Press Corps(e) wants to dumb down the news as much as possible, they can't include too many bad guys in the story without confusing the sheeple. Not many people have heard of Transocean or Mitsui (even I had never heard of Anadarko), and most only associate Haliburton with the Iraq fiasco. Everyone knows that BP is an oil company, the disaster is on an oil platform, so BP is the designated villain for this story. Sad but true.

Re:Politically connected (1, Interesting)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206646)

> So what? BP has massive amounts of money...

Actually, that's not as true as you think. They have a lot of assets but they don't have a lot of money. In fact, back in June, there was a serious risk that BP would find itself in financial trouble because it's short-term liquidity sources (i.e. the money markets) had dried up as lenders became increasingly concerned with the lunatic rhetoric being spouted by Obama and his cronies. The markets began to suspect that the administration might actually be stupid enough to try to effectively "kill" BP as a company, so they stopped lending to them. Without funding, BP could have collapsed. That's why Obama's statement after his meeting with Tony Hayward and the other BP senior management team, was so supportive of BP. In that meeting, he was basically told, in no uncertain terms, that he was being a fucking moron and that he should wind his fucking neck in before he did something so incredibly stupid that it would push one of the world's biggest companies into an artificially-induced insolvency, resulting in millions of investors (a lot of them American) losing a lot of money, thousands of employees (again, a lot of them American) losing their jobs and the entire bill for the clean-up, restoration of the environment and compensation for those affected falling on the American taxpayers.

Re:Politically connected (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206758)

That used to be true in the old world mass media space, where bas stories where killed off but is is no longer true on the internet. The longer the story is kept alive, the more people you can engage, the more harm it does to those corporations.

So in this case every effort must be made to keep the story going, to keep hounding BP and it's political supporters, to keep pushing for fairness and where required changes to the law. To keep discussion going on and on and on for years, to keep picking away at them, to keep working ar=t taking away the customers of corporations or the foolish supporters of corrupt politicians. A continuous grinding struggle to wear those fuckers down, we might be ants and they are immense dinosaurs but we will continue bite them done to size bit by fucking bit, no matter how long it takes.

So yes discussion on slashdot and on every other forum, anti-BP web sites, and also driving past BP service stations and fuelling elsewhere, and does this preclude any other measures to ba taken to seek justice for those affected by BPs pollution, of course not, it is just part and parcel of the overall battle, the first step informing and discussing, prior to taking further action.

Re:Politically connected (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206898)

"Nothing is going to happen to them, even if half of the Gulf Coast population winds up with cancer."

There is no hope for peaceful change, yet the public are too comfortable to put the fear of death into corporate leadership (who might lie awake at night if they had to worry about someone they defrauded or poisoned going kamikaze on them) so expect more of the same forever.

It's A Big Mystery (4, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206152)

"Sherlock, we could find a place to put the blame if only we knew what kind of rock they were drilling through."
"Sedimentary, my dear Watson, sedimentary."

Re:It's A Big Mystery (0)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206602)

Reminds me of my favourite Sherlock Holmes joke:

Watson comes home early one day from sidekick school to find his cohort naked on all fours in the living room with lemon jam smeared all around his ring piece. There is a sign with an arrow pointing at his arse with the words "Do Me"

Watson: My God Holmes, what on earth are you up to?
Holmes: Lemon-entry, my dear Watson.

Re:It's A Big Mystery (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207952)

You spoiled it by mentioning "lemon jam" it's too obvious what the punchline will be. You'd need to find some way of referring to the fact that it was lemon jam without actually saying so.

Also, who ever heard of lemon jam?

Overall B minus needs more work.

BP's fault, but not their fault. (2, Insightful)

Flowstone (1638793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206168)

Translation:
"We have concrete evidence that bp not only dropped the ball, but insisted on risking screwing themselves over. However we're not going to say it was their fault, as they're a big oil company that pays us alot of money."
so much for biting the hand that feeds you.

Re:BP's fault, but not their fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206290)

In this case, when they say concrete evidence, they mean it literally.

Re:BP's fault, but not their fault. (3, Funny)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206328)

Oh, shut up! It's obvious to anyone with an IQ above single digits that the constant sniping at BP is nothing but a xenophobic witch-hunt, fomented by a faltering White House to distract attention from their own failings. The Oil Spill Commission has already found that BP did not sacrifice safety in favour of profits so give us all a fucking break!

Why don't you direct some of your ire at the federal investigators who haven't yet started an examination of the blowout preventer (made by a US firm, by the way) that FAILED TO WORK, even though it's been sitting in a NASA faciloty for TWO MONTHS!

Morons.

Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206230)

So what surprises me is that there is IT involved yet we didn't see some AC whistleblower on slashdot or anywhere else during the incident.

Re:Software? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206270)

Why would IT know anythign about the results the modelling software spits out. They aren't the ones actually using it.

You expect an IT whistleblower on everything because I'm sure someone did something related to it with Word or Outlook at some point?

Re:Software? (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206362)

COMPLETELY off-topic, but...

anythign

I am CONTINUOUSLY making this typo these days and having to go back and correct it all the time. I wonder where it all went so wrong that the timing of my fingers in 'auto-mode' has become so off. I never learned to touch type, I have just developed my own fast enough 3-5 finger peck-typing over the years. I'm now able to type without looking at the keyboard sometimes for whole sentences. But even when looking down, this 'ng' keeps happening.

I know, I know. Slow down and pay more attention. Maybe it's time to learn to touch type properly, though it feels a little late after ~20yrs

Re:Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206442)

did you mean CONSTANTLY ?

Re:Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34207840)

anythign anythign anythign anythign
anythign anythign anythign anythign
anythign anythign anythign anythign
anythign anythign anythign anythign

fyi My comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. I should try less whitespace and/or less repetition.

Re:Software? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207990)

You likely use your right hand for the i and n, and your left hand for the g. So you left hand has a head start due to not having been involved in pressing the i and gets there first.

At least that's my excuse.

Re:Software? (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34208140)

this is a test for anything.

Yup!, never analysed it before. Right middle hits, say, i. Right index hits n and left middle hits g, but sometimes does it before the right index hits n. They are all moving too fast!

/me slows down.

Re:Software? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206486)

I have yet to see a single posting on Slashdot that appears to come from a real source that would even come close to being a whistleblower.

I have seen a lot of big egos who think they're in the know but never anyone who really was in any inner circle with the real goods.

Re:Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34207646)

Some form of IT is employed in every company of note. Why expect a whistle blown over one cement incident? Why not every incident by companies large or small?

Maybe IT's involvement is merely keeping offender's hardware up and running, not knowing or caring what people do with their legit software.
Maybe IT doesn't read Slashdot (or anything else), or does, but only lurks.
Maybe IT could blow the whistle, but just doesn't share your ideals and visions or has no desire to blow the whistle on anything.
Maybe info has been leaked, but the anonymous posting was ignored as unverifiable or as crackpottery.

Good Job Halliburton (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206254)

Come on people. Give Halliburton some props here.

Re:Good Job Halliburton (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206450)

Oh forget that. Halliburton is evil, therefore even when they do their jobs properly and attempt to prevent a massive ecological disaster though technology and expertise, they're doing it out of evil motives!

I'm sure Dick Cheney was on the rig tossing the centralizers over the side!

Leftist Heads About to Explode (0, Troll)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206330)

We have information that will put blame on BP. But in means giving credence to Halliburton. What is a diehard leftist to do?

Re:Leftist Heads About to Explode (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207702)

They'll simply ignore it and shout more loudly through their bullhorns. Volume is an excellent distractor.

Sometimes smart people make mistakes (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206348)

The issue isn't "omg they ignored the modeling - those bastards!"

The issues are:

1) Was their mistaken belief that the stabilizers were the wrong size reasonable under the circumstances, was it due to an understandable human error, or was it due to gross incompetence?

2) Was the backup plan based on sound engineering and sound industry practices, or was it a "we think this will be okay, let's cross our fingers and drill?"

If the mistake on the stabilizers was reasonable under the circumstances and the backup plan was based on sound engineering and sound industry practices, I don't see any blame as it relates to this particular decision.

On the other hand, if either decision was based on incompetence, then it's easy to pin blame. If the mistake was based on something less than incompetence - say, a competent person demonstrating the reality that good human beings occasionally make mistakes and making a bad or careless decision at what would turn out to be the worst possible time - then there is blame but the punishment for that person should not be as severe as that of incompetence.

Re:Sometimes smart people make mistakes (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206464)

i agree... but replace all "incompetence" with "negligence"... the difference being "i didnt know" vs "i didnt care"

Re:Sometimes smart people make mistakes (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207830)

1) Was their mistaken belief that the stabilizers were the wrong size reasonable under the circumstances, was it due to an understandable human error, or was it due to gross incompetence?

This is the outstanding unanswered question. Does anyone have any information?

So who's in the dock? (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206368)

For what, you ask? Negligent homicide. Because somebody decided to drill in a situation they knew to be unsafe, putting the lives of everyone on the rig, including those with no choice in the matter, at risk for the sake of profits. A few criminal prosecutions would change that culture quickly, otherwise it's just a cost of doing business.

When "systematic" becomes "invisible"... (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206376)

From the article:
The report said there was “no evidence” to suggest BP had put cost before safety.

And then:
Commission co-chair William Riley noted “what appeared to be a rush to completion” at the drilling site. He added that “one must ask where the drive came from that made people determine they couldn’t wait for sound cement, or the right centralisers”.
Is this guy stupid? That's the norm!. Ever heard of "time is money"?

“In the inhuman system of capital, every technical problem boils down to an economic one, that of the prize to be won by cutting costs and boosting returns”.
http://www.vajont.info/eNGLISH/thePiaveLegend.html [vajont.info]

Re:When "systematic" becomes "invisible"... (2, Insightful)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206516)

How about we go right back to the source of the problem and track down the bastard who issued the licence to drill in such deep water to begin with? Surely it's obvious to even the most dim-witted American politician that drilling in 5,000 feet of water is going to entail some risks?

Re:When "systematic" becomes "invisible"... (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207700)

I don't think the source of the problem is any one individual, but the system in which these individuals operate.

"Surely it's obvious to even the most dim-witted American politician that drilling in 5,000 feet of water is going to entail some risks"?

If the experts say "risky but doable",
and it concerns a potentially very profitable project, it usually seems to get approved.

Re:When "systematic" becomes "invisible"... (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207942)

I think the cost issue is related more to the well design rather than the final rush to completion. There was a lot of discussion about liner/tie-back vs long string early on. Liner/tie-back is a slower process.

Clearly they were on a schedule and trying to make the schedule. It isn't so clear if they made negligent decisions in order to maintain the schedule.

Oh, and by the way... (4, Interesting)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206466)

..BP didn't do the cementing. Halliburton did. So, if Halliburton's model showed that more centralizers were required but they decided to go ahead with the cementing anyway, seems to me that they were negligent.

It's like a builder telling the developer "We should use beams and girders in this wall to make it stronger" and the developer saying "Hmmm. We haven't got any steel beams to hand. Can you use reinforced concrete instead and maybe make the wall thicker?". If the builder says "Yeah, sure!" and goes ahead, he can't blame the developer if the wall later collapses.

I sense desperate attempts at ass-covering on Halliburton's part. Probably worried about all their lucrative no-competition Pentagon contracts.

Re:Oh, and by the way... (4, Insightful)

stdarg (456557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206614)

Halliburton did the cementing, then said hey it's wrong, then BP proceeded with drilling anyway, rather than redoing the cement. Halliburton didn't do the drilling so I don't see how you can blame them.

According to the Oil Spill Commission’s findings this week, Brian Morel, drilling engineer at BP, wrote an email to Brett Cocales, another BP engineer, as the drilling proceeded, saying: “Who cares, it’s done, end of story, we’ll probably be fine”.
[...]
At a hearing in July, BP’s well team leader, John Guide, explained the decision not to go with the software’s recommendations. “The model is – first of all, it’s not accurate all the time. ...I put very, very little faith in the model because it’s wrong a lot.”

BP still drilled with “no direct indicators of cement success” and no cement evaluation log, the Oil Spill commission said. The company conducted a separate negative pressure test, an oil engineering test designed to show whether the casing and cement would hold against significant pressure, and isolate potentially dangerous hydrocarbons.

The test was failed, but was – for an unexplained reason – deemed a “complete success” by both BP and rig owner Transocean at the time, a presentation on Monday said.

That's pretty blatant. Halliburton warned them, BP did their own separate test, which failed. Then they're like, oh well let's do it anyway! And you find a way to blame Halliburton in that?

Re:Oh, and by the way... (2, Informative)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206802)

Let's take a look at the original Oil Spill commission letter reporting back to the commissioners on the findings relating to the Halliburton cement, shall we?

"The documents provided to us by Halliburton show, among other things, that its personnel conducted at least four foam stability tests relevant to the Macondo cement slurry. The first two tests were conducted in February 2010 using different well design parameters and a slightly different slurry recipe than was finally used. Both tests indicated that this foam slurry design was unstable.

"Halliburton provided data from one of the two February tests to BP in an email dated March 8, 2010. The data appeared in a technical report along with other information. There is no indication that Halliburton highlighted to BP the significance of the foam stability data or that BP personnel raised any questions about it. There is no indication that Halliburton provided the data from the other February test to BP.

"Halliburton conducted two additional foam stability tests in April, this time using the actual recipe and design poured at the Macondo well. We believe that its personnel conducted the first of these two tests on or about April 13, seven days before the blowout. Lab personnel used slightly different lab protocols than they had used in February. Although there are some indications that lab personnel may have conducted this test improperly, it once again indicated that the foam slurry design was unstable. The results of this test were reported internally within Halliburton by at least April 17, though it appears that Halliburton never provided the data to BP."

One of the four conclusions in that letter was that "Halliburton (and perhaps BP) should have considered redesigning the foam slurry before pumping it at the Macondo well."

There's plenty of blame to go 'round. People should quit the pretence that it's all BP's fault.

Re:Oh, and by the way... (1)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207622)

Wait, those are actual quotes? "Who cares, it's done" "We'll probably be fine" "it's wrong a lot"

These are the engineering geniuses we have doing the most complicated oil drilling possible? WTF! Last I checked "probably be fine" and "wrong a lot" don't count for sound scientific basis.

Re:Oh, and by the way... (3, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206892)

Here's what I actually suspect: BP and Halliburton were both responsible to some degree. Because of that, the companies will insist on separate trials if it ever gets to court, and the defense in each of the two trials will be "the other guy did it". That way, neither of them has to actually take responsibility for their actions.

Re:Oh, and by the way... (3, Informative)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207392)

One significant difference between the two is that BP has accepted it's responsibility and has voluntarily waived the $75m statutory limit on monetary damages (contained in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990), instead establishing a $20bn compensation fund. And that's on top of the clean-up costs.

Meanwhile, Halliburton and Conway are keeping their heads down, desperately hoping that no one notices that it was their cement and blowout preventer that failed to, y'know, prevent the blowout from happening in the first place.

Note that there's a difference between responsibility and blame. BP are responsible for cleaning up the spill, because they are the operator of the lease. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are to blame for what happened (although I broadly agree that the blame is probably shared between several of the parties involved).

Re:Oh, and by the way... (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207718)

Halliburton told BP that the cementing was wrong, but BP ignored them and drilled anyway. Halliburton actually tried to do the right thing here and was ignored.

Re:Oh, and by the way... (1)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34208170)

Wrong. The people Halliburton had doing the cement job have already told the Marine Board of Investigation hearings that "they did not deem the cement job on the well to be unsafe even with the use of six centralizers -- nor did they believe there was a risk of a well blowout."

However, if you're willing to swallow Halliburton's story, I have $50m in a Nigerian bank account that I'd like to talk to you about...

Re:Oh, and by the way... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34208056)

If the builder says "Yeah, sure!" and goes ahead, he can't blame the developer if the wall later collapses.

That's not how it works. I won't bother to address whether your comment is actually related to the topic at hand, but it is wrong.

The Kansas City Hyatt Regency. There was once a suspended walkway in this building, where essentially poles came down from the ceiling and supported a few walkways stacked on top of each other. The design called for a single beam for each pole, but the contractor decided that shorter beams would be easier to make, so they decided they could just use a pole that goes down to the top level, then one that goes between that level and the next. An engineer rubber-stamped the change.

Long story short, that pretty much doubled the stress on the attachment points of the supports that ran to the top level, the walkways came down when people were on them, and 114 died. Several people lost their engineering licenses in the engineering firm involved, and the firm itself was shut down. As far as I can tell, the contractor was never held responsible for anything.

Moderator hints: (Score: -1, cited real world data)

Halliburton (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207582)

What hasn't come to light is Halliburton's role in all of this. They're not exactly the most trustworthy company in the world and it's strange that this has come out now. As far as I know BP had outsourced all of their drilling which is probably how this stupid state of affairs came about.

Re:Halliburton (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207756)

Huh? Halliburton's role is that they did the cementing. They warned BP that the cementing was wrong, and BP drilled anyway.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...