Information about BPâ€™s devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is slowly leaking out, in this case, by mistake. Part of a presentation was inadvertently posted to a website, where reporters saw the slide before it was quickly removed again. Is this likely to be the pattern in how information is shared? Disasters always come with their own cover-ups, and the BP Oil Spill is no different.
A report posted on the website of Computer World UK noted that â€œThe New York Times newspaper published a screenshot of the slide, which showed at least eight â€˜riskyâ€™ steps that BP and its partners Halliburton and Transocean were judged to have taken in order to save time.â€ Among the eight steps was the decision to ignore advanced cement modeling software, which indicated that there were serious stability concerns with the well.
Once that information about the stability concerns was gleaned, more centralizers were ordered. They arrived, but operators at the rig thought they were incorrect and ignored them, and then began questioning the softwareâ€™s advice.
According to reports, â€œAs the drilling proceeded, Brian Morel, engineer at BP, wrote an email to colleague Brett Cocales, saying: â€˜Who cares, itâ€™s done, end of story, weâ€™ll probably be fine.â€ Except it wasnâ€™t fine, and the technology wasnâ€™t wrong, nor was the need for the additional centralizers.
Just how much this problem (or the seven other critical mistakes) will be shared with the public willingly is anyoneâ€™s guess. What is clear, from this and other information known about the BP Oil Spill is that everyone was being pressured by time, and that always leads to errors.
Adding to this fait accompli was the fact that there was no back-up plan in case of a disaster. And those who depend on the Gulf for their livelihood are still feeling the effects of that.