by Greg Palast â€“ Exclusive for EcoWatch.org
Thursday, 19. April, 2012
Two years before the Deepwater Horizon blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP off-shore rig suffered a nearly identical blow-out, but BP concealed the first one from the U.S. regulators and Congress.
This week, EcoWatch.org located an eyewitness with devastating new information about the Caspian Sea oil-rig blow-out which BP had concealed from government and the industry.
The witness, whose story is backed up by rig workers who were evacuated from BPâ€™s Caspian platform, said that had BP revealed the full story as required by industry practice, the eleven Gulf of Mexico workers â€œcould have had a chanceâ€ of survival. But BPâ€™s insistence on using methods proven faulty sealed their fate.
One cause of the blow-outs was the same in both cases: Â the use of a money-saving techniqueâ€”plugging holes with â€œquick-dryâ€ cement.
By hiding the disastrous failure of its penny-pinching cement process in 2008, BP was able to continue to use the dangerous methods in the Gulf of Mexicoâ€”causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. April 20 marks the second anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster.
There were several failures in common to the two incidents identified by the eyewitness. He is an industry insider whose identity and expertise we have confirmed. His name and that of other witnesses we contacted must be withheld for their safety.
The failures revolve around the use of â€œquick-dryâ€ cement, the uselessness of blow-out preventers, â€œmayhemâ€ in evacuation procedures and an atmosphere of fear which prevents workers from blowing the whistle on safety problems.
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance and senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council, said, â€œWe have laws that make it illegal to hide this kind of information. At the very least, these are lies by omission. When you juxtapose their knowledge of this incident upon the oil companies constant and persistent assurances of safety to regulators, investigators and shareholders, you have all the elements to prove that their concealment of the information was criminal.â€ …more