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BP oil spill: Where the U.S. has fallen short

Richard Blendermann comments on the article “U.S. and BP slow to accept Dutch expertise

Only a few days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico I was asking my self the same questions, and 2 to three weeks into the spill I could tell that the approach and finger pointing from our administration (and the U.S. main stream Media) would only lead to delays that would make the situation much worse. My father helped to design and build the Texaco Plant in Port Arthur TX (the largest in the world at the time) from the ground up and worked at the plant all his life as a Chemical Engineer. So I have been around this industry for a very long time. In Texas and in fact every where in the world there have been unforeseen problems and disasters with oil exploration.

The only solution to resolve these problems is to act quickly and with as many resources as possible and then investigate and improve the technology, laws and procedures “After” the problem is contained. I seriously believe that if our administration had acted fast, unblocked any political and legal problems to get help fast that there would be a very small amount of the oil reaching to coastlines.  Also, to degrade BP by political criticism to the point where their stocks take a nose dive is not in the best interest of anyone! It has now limited the financial resources that BP has to pay for fixing the problem and the clean up efforts besides causing poor relations between the US and the UK.

I feel saddened by the fact that this only shows the rest of the world a stereotypical persona of Americans that can not understand that we do not know it all. Most of us are just normal folks like in any industrialized nation and have a clear understanding of what it means to help in any disaster around the world. This is an international community and what affects BP affects the rest of the oil companies as we are finding out by Obama halting of the offshore drilling. In fact 70% or more of the American public feel the same way that I do. Being from Texas, I seriously believe that if Bush were handling this problem, given his close ties to the Oil Industry, that the situation would be much better off.

Anyway, there are two fronts to this problem. First is capping the well and the other is the containment of the oil in the Gulf. And the containment part (where all the bad press is) sits squarely on the lack of reaction from the current U.S. administration and by that I mean all the staff surrounding the current President and advising him. I am sure that the oil industries adaptability will find a safe and secure way to improve the capping of deep water blowouts in the future. The Solution for containment is already available as many industry leaders have pointed out. This is where we (the U.S) has fallen short and shot ourselves in the foot so to speak.

By the way, I worked in the Int’l Building of Shell Oil in Houston  (upstream) by managing the original installation and maintenance of the Automatic Tape libraries (Braegen/Bell Atlantic) in the basement back in the mid 1980’s before my assignment in Rome doing the same for the Banca d’Italia and returned to Shell Oil when returning two years later. – Richard

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