Sailing in oil--America's problem

Discussion in 'The Dockhouse' started by Matt B, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Matt B

    Matt B Member

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    well its americas problem it minght be bp but its owned partley by america and the rig was built by americans if the americans had built it a bit better it minght not have burst
     
  2. wessel

    wessel Member

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    Re: Sailing in oil

    I think the rig was built by South Korea and owned and operated by Transocean
     
  3. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I have split this off and made it its own thread, where it is not off topic.
     
  4. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Way to go, Matt. Rah rah for your team.
     
  5. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    In practice its a British problem because POTUS needs votes and cannot accept there might be any aspect of fault within the US (even if it all happened in the predecessor's time).

    Although it gets political, POTUS has caused a lot of ill-feeling overseas with his attitudes on this (particularly given the history of how some US companies live up to their responsibilities for accidents "overseas"). Still, no doubt he will get his votes now and he can sleep happy.

    Ian
     
  6. RangerDanger

    RangerDanger New Member

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    It doesn't matter whose problem it is...it just needs to be cleaned up.
     
  7. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Absolutely. Maybe somebody in the US can tell their politicians that as at the moment it seems far more about blame, passing bucks overseas, etc. and in fact it is only BP who are getting on with trying to stop the disaster. Working together can achieve so much more than working against - yet the US politicians seem determined to fight BP every step of the way.

    You get most out of people if you help them. The priority should be sorting the problem. It is BP's priority yet they are having to spend their time fending of politicians who want to appear tough for the coming elections. Totally counter productive.

    Once the leak is stopped and the environment recovering there will be plenty of time for all the parties to argue about blame and to strut around trying to look tough (whilst making fools of themselves) but at the moment it would be great if people could put their energies into stopping the leak !!

    Ian
     
  8. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    You are seeing/hearing what the media wants you to see/hear, and based on your comments, adding in your own bias. Unless you are down on the beaches, in the bayou's or out in the boats that are booming, you have no clue about who is doing what.

     
  9. Scott B

    Scott B Member

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    Actually, the POTUS (or at least the US gov'mnt) is at least partly to blame. You see, drilling for oil within the US is one of the most regulated activities - as the regulating party, which charges license fees, fines, etc., they have taken on the position of responsibility.

    Unfortunately, the current POTUS (and all his appointed czars) doesn't have any knowledge on what he should do - all he knows how to do is campaign.

    The current situation with BP (the escrow account, the grilling by congress today) is so far out of the scope of what the US gov'mnt should be doing (and, technically, is allowed to do.) It is truly a disgrace - to this nation, and the world.

    For the record, a significant amount of the regulatory problems/issues (including the oil spill clean-up plan - yes, we really do have one) started 2 administrations ago, in the '90s.

    Disclaimer: I do not align myself with either political party.
     
  10. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Re: Sailing in oil

    They were the contractor, but the buck stops with BP.

    This is what I see as a best case scenario. BP is 100% percent responsible for cleaning up the mess. It most likely will go bankrupt, and pieces of the company are sold off to pay the bill.

    The people who work in oil exploration will get jobs with the new owners, providing the oil that this country needs. And hopefully the new owners will operate in a much safer manner.

    The stockholders in BP are the ones who will absorb the finanical cost. They chose to invest in a high risk business that was improperly run. No government bailout, no massive debt for future generations.
     
  11. Trueke

    Trueke New Member

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  12. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Re: More on Sailing and BP...

    Except he was not on board (not on the crew list) - contrary to what the US politicians might want you to believe. He was actually just sending a bit of time with his son.

    US politicians seem to be trying to turn this into a personal vendetta against the guy. Which is showing their naiveté about very large companies. The person at the top does not make every decision in a company. The person at the top is not an expert in every aspect of company operations. So criticising him for not passing opinion about something he is not qualified in and before all the evidence is in and analysed merely shows he does not jump to unjustified conclusions - whatever US politicians might like to say for their own PR purposes.

    In UK/France (maybe elsewhere outside the US - I don't know) there is increasing talk about how US companies behave when accidents happen overseas and how they accept their responsibilities. Much talk starting about Bhopal and Union Carbide and how lucky the US is that BP is honouring its responsibilities despite there being legal liability ceilings they [BP] have chosen to waive.

    An aspect that I expect is not getting much publicity in the US is about possible futures for BP. BP will not go bust. What might happen is when their share value drops below its asset value the company will be exposed to take-over. This happened some time ago and all that is delaying any take-over is the possibility of punitive damages. Once those are established it is not unlikely that BP will be taken over; probably by the Chinese who are desperate for oil to feed their growth. Impact of this on the US is that a lot of the oil they currently get will be diverted to China - and can you imagine how that will affect the US.

    Of course there are elections coming so it would appear that US politicians are putting their short term political hunger for votes about the good of the US population.

    The personal attacks are impressing nobody (maybe in the US they are but they are not doing US reputation overseas any good). They are achieving nothing. Do US politicians really think that stopping the guy seeing his son will stop the leak quicker !!

    Ian
     
  13. Trueke

    Trueke New Member

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    Re: More on Sailing and BP...




    I have nothing against anyone spending time with their family, especially during difficult times. However, it is (I believe) a poor showing of judgment to go out in public to a race where you multi-million dollar yacht is competing. As ordinary and harmless a day out with your kid watching boats race may sound (and it is), this CEO and his PR team should know better. He just gave more ammunition to people wanting to deionized him. It makes him look aloof of the whole situation, and detached from the reported suffering of people and wild life in the gulf region. Is this what you want to portrait?

    As far as the person on top not making all the decisions is concerned, this is beyond the point. As it is true that in such big company is impossible to know every little detail, you are, whether you like it or not, responsible for all the actions and consequences that involves your company. And this is true for all positions of power. The POTUS, BP's CEO, Steve Jobs, the mayor of your town, and anyone who is willingly taking on the role (and the money) to become the head honcho is also taking on the blame for anything that goes wrong.

    Sure it is election year, and as we saw on the hearings not everyone thinks BP is at all evil (see Joe Barton), but that is just part of the game. The US is "lucky" BP is going "beyond its responsibilities" because BP knows that in order to survive this mess and continue doing business with the US they have to satisfy the demands of PR-hungry political figures. If this mess didn't happened they would be spending their monies in trying to get people like Barton re-elected. Is a dance! On the same note, US companies (and Europeans) used to get away with much because they could pay-off whichever head of state they were dealing with and keep any wrong doing under the covers. Is it right? NO. Is it the way it works? Well....

    I think it was Lincoln who said something about giving a man power to see it's true nature...or something like that. Well, are surprised at all of how these people (politicians and executives) are behaving? It is all about them, is just that one decided to go sailing, and the others decided to go hunting. Except for Barton who went fishing...:p
     
  14. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Re: More on Sailing and BP...

    His comments were viewed with amusement here - maybe because of the way he was then "stood-on" and forced to issue an apology for having said such un palatable things, then retracting what he had said to Hayward.

    Interestingly the UK papers had an interesting article about another recent oil company accident “When the largest fire in peacetime Europe tore through the Buncefield site on that Sunday morning in December 2005, these companies had failed to protect workers, members of the public and the environment,” the HSE said today . In the UK we first dealt with the problem, then investigated then prosecuted. We had no mud-slinging and the CEO of Chevron. Didn't try and dictate how he spent his private time.

    Then another article but about Kazakhstan "thousands of people have already been relocated in the region because of sulphur emissions and other highly poisonous chemicals such as mercaptans, which are present at high levels in northern Caspian oil. All the companies deny they have behaved irresponsibly." -> ExxonMobil. But to start victimising an individual is just showing the way the White House operates.

    Elsewhere In Ecuador Chevron holds the record for the world's largest oil-related contamination in the populated Amazon rainforest – an even more sensitive ecosystem than the marshes of Louisiana

    Of course there are many others e.g. Royal Dutch Shell in Nigeria.

    Interestingly, in a poll carried out over the last few days When asked specifically about how Obama’s handling of the BP oil spill had affected the relationship between Britain and the United States, 64% of British people reported that it had weakened it.. I'm sure nobody really cares how the UK and Europe feels about the US until they want assistance with things.

    I believe in practice that all the oil companies are as bad as each other and a large number of changes are well overdue. However, thirst for oil and as you say the failure of politicians to act in the public interest is getting in the way of e.g. proper regulation. And unfortunately it gives all the oil companies a really easy let-out. If an XXX was important to safety and whoever only used a YYY because it was cheaper, then there is a good argument that it is blindingly obvious a business focused on profit would use cheaper and the regulatory bodies should have required a more expensive and safer XXX. We should not be drilling is such locations - but the way the western economy is operating leave no choice. If it had not been BP now it would have been some other company before long.

    One aspect of the reporting of stories is constraints on reporters. Several years ago there was an incident in Portugal affecting a British family. At the time I was living in France and the difference in the reporting of the incident was quite amazing. In the UK no papers could publish anything questioning nor anything not 100% supportive of the family. No real questioning of things. Had a UK reporter published anything else then that paper would have experience a massive backlash and loss of sales. However, in France it was a different matter and one actually got some investigative reporting because there was not the same emotive issues from the domestic audience. To a large extent reporting constraints being driven by the need to sell papers which means writing what people want to hear.

    (I know I'm continually posting a lot to this thread but it is something I feel strongly about - not defending BP (time will tell where blame really lies) but that we need to change the way we live and that whilst we consume so much we are effectively forcing all these oil companies to satisfy our desires (offering such profits)).

    Ian
     
  15. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    If anybody is interested in the public feeling about the issues and the way the US politicians are behaving there is an interesting article from a UK newspaper (one of the "better" ones). Ignore the article because it is predictable (just being critical of BP's PR behaviour - but what is interesting are the comments people have posted below. There are a lot and I would not bother reading them all, but just scan the first few (the rest go on pretty much in the same spirit).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/21/tony-hayward-bp-arrogance-success?showallcomments=true#start-of-comments
    Public feeling is actually getting worse than I thought (i.e. being critical of US politicians). I was surprised when I read the comments !!

    Ian
     
  16. Royal

    Royal New Member

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    It is interesting to me how an article in a British paper, being critical of a British company, would elicit such disdain for "US politicians" (as if there were only one kind).

    I keep hearing people saying "it's not about blame" with one breath, then placing blame with the next. :(
     
  17. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    My personal interpretation (which may be biased as it also fits with my personal opinion) is that there are two separate issues where many have different attitudes:
    1. The "oil" aspect (e.g. polluting the environment, thirst oil, etc.)
    2. US politicians behaviour

    I think most of the comments relate to the behaviour of US politicians. Most people regard the oil spill as a great tragedy that needs to be sorted a.s.a.p. However, the behaviour of US politicians is not seen (here) as helping that - in fact probably hindering it.

    Hayward has been finished in BP for some time now. He is unlikely to go in the short term as, at the moment he is acting as a good focus for US political "attitudes". Once things have calmed a bit and the leak sorted we will see if China/Far East tries for a take-over (to get the oil) and probably see Hayward (and maybe Chairman) go as part of a "clean-sweep"; fresh start so to speak. It is not so much Hayward's (in)actions that will cause this, more because he unfortunately became the target for US politicians. But he will undoubtedly get a staggering pay-off. What them becomes interesting is who is going to be taking over and the current forerunner angling for the job is Lord Mandleson. Mandleson is a really nasty piece of work (nickname here is "Price of Darkness"). If Mandleson had been in charge at the moment you would have seen very different comments in the article.

    Ian
     
  18. Royal

    Royal New Member

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    I almost instantly regretted posting in a political discussion as forums aren't the best venue for these discussions, and I certainly don't want to offend any other users here. But I do appreciate the opportunity for a civil exchange of ideas, and I'm happy my comments were not taken badly. I could have worded my thoughts better.

    I kind of agree with 49208, the media drives public opinion. They create a public sentiment by selective or biased reporting, then report on that artificial sentiment as actual news. The US media is the worst, I actually get more of my news from BBC America as I've found their coverage to be so much more objective.
     
  19. Matt B

    Matt B Member

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    Re: Sailing in oil

    well this means bp is a franchiser then so therefore the franchisees should have to sort it out as its their fault basically BP is just a brand name.
     
  20. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Interesting and maybe ironic turn of events (ironic to those US politicians who hold the British responsible as it is "British Petroleum").

    BP's poor safety record is generally thought to have been caused by the then Chief Executive Lord Browne. He was responsible for a massive cost cutting exercise following which accidents started to happen. Of course he went but it was during his time that the explosion in Texas happened and the Alaskan oil pipeline leaks happened. Since Hayward took over in 2007 the company has been trying to address Browne's legacy and to change the culture - but maybe such changes take time.

    The ironic bit is that we in the UK now have this Browne guy appointed to our government (not voted in but appointed in !!). And his responsibility to cut costs (just like he did at BP).

    So ...

    Ian
     

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