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So what do we think about the BP witch hunt?

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default So what do we think about the BP witch hunt?

Post by Hairyloon on 19th June 2010, 7:38 pm

OK, the oil spill is a bad thing, and it might be a good idea to find out exactly why it happened and make sure it doesn't happen again, but IMO, the congress committee "investigating" it is just an embarrassment.
I am so glad that I am not an American.
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Post by Sparhawk on 20th June 2010, 12:41 am

IMO, it is one of those things that has happened that should be boundreyless, what is the sence in placing blame at the moment, the concentration should be on the stopping & clearing up, not wishing to make light of matters, but it could spawn a new industry, I believe a lot of the clearing up is being done by a small but good company called Vikoma from the Isle of Wight...

From what I have seen, OK BP is a "British" company although a substantial amount is actually in foreign ownership, including a fair amount of American ownership, most of the workings of this well was subcontracted to American companies, it was all fine & dandy while it was earning money, everyone wanted a piece... Problem hits & everyone bounces around quicker than a tennis ball at Wimbledon...

Its happened/happening, lets get the energies into sorting it first, then work out where the problems were later...

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Post by Hairyloon on 20th June 2010, 12:54 am

sparhawk wrote:From what I have seen, OK BP is a "British" company...
It was once. I don't know how much of it is now, but certainly enough that BP no longer means "British Petroleum".
It does seem to suit the Yanks to forget that so they can blame it all on us...
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Post by Dandelion on 20th June 2010, 11:18 am

Did you know that BP has pledged financial help to deal with birds and mammals which have been affected by the oil, and that their list of possible casulaties includes walruses? Now that really would be a bad oil spill if walruses have been affected!!

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th June 2010, 12:14 pm

I quite agree that anything that damages walruses is a very bad thing, dandelion, but why do you say that would be so bad as compared to any other mammals being affected?

Back to the OP, there does seem to be a major amount of Grandstanding going on in the Whitehouse which is more about political gain than environmental concern. Today the Whitehouse has made an official statement about the chairman of BP (who is not actually responsible for day-to-day ops in the Gulf - that is the MD) going on a sailing boat with his son... really WTF??? I think the Obama administration has done itself and its credibility no favours at all with this affair.

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Post by Mike on 20th June 2010, 12:52 pm

I think Dandelion meant that as an indication of the geographical extent of the damage. There aren't any walruses within thousands of kilometers of the Gulf so if it spreads far enough to affect them then that's a signifcant fraction of the entire Earth.

But as for the difference in political attitudes ----- The Americanism is "The buck stops here". We tend to be less interested in an inquiry followed by sacrifice of the underling left in direct charge. We demand the head of the boss at the top who put that underling there. And about the credibility the expression is "How does it play in Peoria". Our politicians aren't even interested in how it plays in some other voting district than their own let alone some other country. And while folks here might dislike the behavior/positions of Congress as a whole (they tend to only care for the ones that they elect to represent them) that attitude about what people in other countries might think is almost universally shared with the politicians.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th June 2010, 3:22 pm

Mike wrote:There aren't any walruses within thousands of kilometers of the Gulf

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watch closely at 2:50

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Post by Dandelion on 20th June 2010, 6:08 pm

I'm sure I've seen that actor in the walrus suit in another film recently....

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th June 2010, 6:59 pm

I think you will find Marlon Brando has been dead for several years.

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Post by Chilli-head on 20th June 2010, 8:57 pm

I'm slightly surprised BP are humbly accepting all the blame, given that it wasn't their rig, and that the blowout preventor, supposed to stop the oil flow in the event of the connection to the rig failing, was made by Halliburton.
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Post by Hairyloon on 20th June 2010, 9:12 pm

Mike wrote:But as for the difference in political attitudes ----- The Americanism is "The buck stops here". We tend to be less interested in an inquiry followed by sacrifice of the underling left in direct charge.
And not, for example an enquiry to actually get to the root of the problem?
I quite agree that the head of an organisation should be accountable for the acts of that organisation (unless it is a bank, or a government obviously), but I don't expect them to know all the details of all the ins and outs of what the organisation does: that is what staff are for.
We demand the head of the boss at the top who put that underling there.
But does it not make sense to actually speak to the underling and find out what happened?
Or is it best to keep repeating the same questions to the CEO who doesn't have the answers?
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Post by Compostwoman on 20th June 2010, 11:50 pm

Dandelion wrote:Did you know that BP has pledged financial help to deal with birds and mammals which have been affected by the oil, and that their list of possible casulaties includes walruses? Now that really would be a bad oil spill if walruses have been affected!!

I took it as an indication that BP didn't actually have a clue about the wildlife in the vicinity, tbh...as it was in a list of possibly affected fauna and flora IF there was a spill from this rig...in a general way, not in a WCS way

But maybe that is just me damming them for no good reason...

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Post by Mike on 21st June 2010, 12:34 am

Misunderstanding?

No, we are't seeing as a case of responsibility "in principle" but in practice. Who selected the division head? (who selected the project manager) Who set up the guidelines whereby the division head would get rated/compensated/bonused/keep their job, etc. depending on completion on time etc. and passed that down the line. That is (usually) the cause of risks/gambles being taken with safety.

Look, been there done that as a senior analyst. My responsibility to advise "that new software change isn't ready; serious risks if we go ahead and implement according to schedule". But it's going to be the manager's call and what that manager will choose will depend on how the division head will react to a delay and how that division head reacts will depend on how the senior vice president will react, etc. The CEO put that senior vice president there, presumably somebody he (or she) thinks will make the "right" decisions. The point is, I usually knew whether my advice would be followed or ignored and why.

Take the coal mine disasters where work went on in spite of danger. You want to fault the shift supervisors? They had the power to order the men out "because gas readings too high". Why do you think they didn't? You think that incompetence of underlings rather than pressure all the way down the line of command? (because shift supervisors who were seen as not keeping up production, of being overly cautious, get fired/replaced).

Sometimes we find out was a rogue underling who caused a problem in spite of corporate culture. But not usually, and that "culture" is the responsibility of the man or woman on top.

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Post by Compostwoman on 21st June 2010, 9:33 am

I agree , Mike. The culture of a company starts at the top and goes downwards....

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Post by Guest on 21st June 2010, 3:47 pm

I think a lot of T Haywards responses in the USA was to ensure that he kept away from admitting any personal liability.

I've actually worked with the guy and he is very much a company man. He'll probably go when he knows it is time to have the company "make-over". I'm surprised they haven't already renamed the down stream operations especially in the USA.

The culture does come from the top and why BP has to scrimp on money I don't know but the response of "I can't tell my boss that" is oh too common in modern companies. I hope that everyone has got copies of all the emails and test results etc because BP will look to transfer the cost to whoever is liable as in the building industry.

The walrus point is that they were identified in the risk, safety and clean up policies which where identical to other oil companies policy documents. ie not written for that site or even for that company. Not good.

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Post by Dandelion on 21st June 2010, 5:16 pm

Compostwoman wrote:
Dandelion wrote:Did you know that BP has pledged financial help to deal with birds and mammals which have been affected by the oil, and that their list of possible casulaties includes walruses? Now that really would be a bad oil spill if walruses have been affected!!

I took it as an indication that BP didn't actually have a clue about the wildlife in the vicinity, tbh...as it was in a list of possibly affected fauna and flora IF there was a spill from this rig...in a general way, not in a WCS way

But maybe that is just me damming them for no good reason...

Joking apart, that was my feeling too, that there was no real knowledge about local wildlife - it's embarrassing though that having made this gaffe publicly they have had to put out an apology, which doesn't help their case (if there is one!)

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Post by Hairyloon on 21st June 2010, 9:35 pm

Mike wrote:Misunderstanding?
Who me? Surely not.
No, we are't seeing as a case of responsibility "in principle" but in practice. Who selected the division head? (who selected the project manager) Who set up the guidelines whereby the division head would get rated/compensated/bonused/keep their job, etc.
Quite, and there is no doubt that the CEO is responsible, but no amount of grilling him, is likely to determine what actually happened... especially when they keep battering him with five or ten year old data.
depending on completion on time etc. and passed that down the line. That is (usually) the cause of risks/gambles being taken with safety.
Which is why we have laws to protect employees who stand up to such passings down. Just a shame that the people who need such protection either don't know about it, or don't dare use it.
No great surprise since the people who are supposed to enforce those laws can't find their arses with both hands and a book on anatomy.
Take the coal mine disasters where work went on in spite of danger. You want to fault the shift supervisors?
Yes. Them and everyone above them.
You think that incompetence of underlings rather than pressure all the way down the line of command? (because shift supervisors who were seen as not keeping up production, of being overly cautious, get fired/replaced).
I think bullies should be stood up to.
Though I recognise that I am very lucky to be secure enough in myself that I can afford to do so.
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st June 2010, 11:11 pm

Mmmm I think maybe you mean "I recognise that I am very lucky that I can afford to be secure enough in myself..."

and that afford to doesn't mean being very wealthy! just having enough to say "screw you" and walk away, when told to do something which we feel goes against our principles.

So many folk have not got that luxury...and so just do what they are told to do.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 21st June 2010, 11:26 pm

Hairyloon wrote:
I think bullies should be stood up to.

Although you don't like it when people do

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Post by Hairyloon on 21st June 2010, 11:36 pm

Compostwoman wrote:Mmmm I think maybe you mean "I recognise that I am very lucky that I can afford to be secure enough in myself..."
Precisely that.
So many folk have not got that luxury...and so just do what they are told to do.
Never considered confidence as a luxury. Best keep that quiet or they'll charge VAT on it. Wink

No clue what Billy is driving at. :?
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st June 2010, 11:40 pm

being able to have the confidence to say "screw you" partly derives, for most people , from having both confidence and cash. Not much cash, maybe, but enough not to be bullied into doing what you know is wrong.
The amount needed to be able to say "screw you" is, of course, relative to where you live, your lifestyle, circumstances etc etc .....


Last edited by Compostwoman on 22nd June 2010, 8:27 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : removed last line because it read as a bit grumpy, although it wasn't meant to!)

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Post by Mike on 22nd June 2010, 12:28 pm

Well to be honest, probably most people (even here) don't know about the Sirena and if they saw a manatee might think they had seen a walrus without tusks. Of course with seaweed on its head, at a distance, no "glass" handy, might also think they had seen a green haired mermaid.

Manatees are endangered by this spill (as if not already engandered enough by habitat loss and speed boats)

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Post by Guest on 22nd June 2010, 6:48 pm

It seems that when the blame is made to stick the BOP is Halliburtons, the rig was Transocean but the oil is BP's !
Sort that liability out!!

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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd June 2010, 10:36 am

Exactly why I would expect BP to want to remain tight lipped until all investigations are complete - Whilst it is too early yet to be seen to pass the buck, it may be that when all the evidence has been collected, some the blame can (and maybe should) be shifted onto their suppliers of parts or services.
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Post by Sparhawk on 23rd June 2010, 9:41 pm

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