I am reacting to the article on BP’s difficulties in court in the litigious US environment. BP has a case to answer; no-one disputes that. However the feeding frenzy is a disgrace and another demonstration of “one rule in the US and another for the rest of the world.” The sums being talked about as “justified compensation” for the deaths, environmental damage, loss of earnings beggar belief and could eventually destroy the company.
Comment by Retired Shell Global Chief Petroleum Engineer Iain Percival on the Bloomberg/Businessweek article:
1 July 2013
I am reacting to the article on BP’s difficulties in court in the litigious US environment. BP has a case to answer; no-one disputes that. However the feeding frenzy is a disgrace and another demonstration of â€œone rule in the US and another for the rest of the world.”
In a few days (July 6th) our business will mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea. It is worth while remembering that the operating deficiencies of Occidental, a US oil company, resulted in the deaths of 167 men. In addition, the survivors have been scarred (physically and mentally) for life and the families have done their collective best to get on with their lives without resorting to armies of lawyers. In contrast, 11 men died in the Deep Water Horizon episode. That is certainly 11 too many but not the same scale of human disaster as was Piper Alpha. The sums being talked about as “justified compensation” for the deaths, environmental damage, loss of earnings beggar belief and could eventually destroy the company. In addition, a number of BP employees could end up with lengthy custodial prison sentences. In contrast the “damage” suffered by Occidental was derisory being £110 million paid to the survivors (considerably less than £1 million per man) and not a single Occidental employee or company official was prosecuted in a court of law. To add insult to injury. Occidental’s lawyers spent considerable time and effort following the payments trying to recover the money from contractors on Piper Alpha, pursuant to indemnity obligations in contracts, which were common in the North Sea at the time of the disaster.
Perhaps John would consider removing the BP related articles and the associated sickening comments from the US free loaders as a mark of respect to the Piper Alpha victims and their families.
In the meantime I recommend all those who follow this site make a point of watching the newly released film concerning Piper Alpha “The Night The Sea Caught Fire: Remembering Piper Alpha.”
IAIN PERCIVAL COMMENT ENDS
Comment by John Donovan
I agree that this situation is a disgrace. It is crazy and indefensible. Not sure that it would be right to delete the article in question since it exposes what is going on.
ABOUT IAIN PERCIVAL
The following information, links and photograph of Iain Percival are all sourced from the Internet. They were not supplied or suggested by him.
Iain Recognised for Mentoring Work
Shell retiree and former Group Chief Petroleum Engineer, Iain Percival, took the award for Outstanding Individual Achievement at the Energy Industry (EI) Annual Awards, for his work mentoring a number of young professionals, both in Shell and other organisations.
Iain is currently spending time with students and staff at RGU and the University of Aberdeen, and visits schools in his home area of the north of Scotland. Iain retired from Shell in 2006 after 33 years of service.
Iain remarked, “It is an honour I appreciate but of course I do derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from my activities.”