Archive for April, 2011

As a former New Orleans resident, I am an admirer of the Lousisiana Cajuns, their joie de vivre, and their sense of humor. I just received this “Boudreaux” story from a BOE contributor, and I must say that it is quite believable. If you have lived in South Louisiana, you’ll know what I mean!

The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the first woman, a Louisiana State University graduate, as President of the United States, Susan Boudreaux.

 A few days after the election the president-elect calls her father and says, ‘So, Dad, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?’

 ‘I don’t think so. It’s a 30 hour drive, your mother isn’t as young as she used to be, and my arthritis is acting up again.’

‘Don’t worry about it Dad, I’ll send Air Force One to pick you up and take you home. And a limousine will pick you up at your door.’

‘I don’t know. Everybody will be so fancy. What would your mother wear?’

 Oh Dad, replies Susan, ‘I’ll make sure she has a wonderful gown custom-made by the best designer in New York.

 ‘Honey,’ Dad complains, ‘you know I can’t eat those rich foods you and your friends like to eat.’

 The President-to-be responds, ‘Don’t worry Dad. The entire affair is going to be handled by the best caterer in New York, I’ll ensure your meals are salt free Dad, I really want you to come.’

 So Dad reluctantly agrees and on January 20, 2017, Susan Boudreaux is being sworn in as President of the United States.

 In the front row sits the new president’s Dad and Mom. Dad noticing the senator sitting next to him leans over and whispers, ‘You see that woman over there with her hand on the Bible, becoming President of the United States.’

 The Senator whispers back, ‘Yes I do.’

 Dad says proudly, ‘Her brother played football at LSU.’

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click on image to enlarge

from the Bahamas Tribune:

“We hope that in the second quarter of next year we will be able to be in a position where we can go forward and drill a well. We’ve just raised $75 million on the London market last month to apply towards our exploration purposes,” Dr Crevello said during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Nassau yesterday.

It is doubtful that this timeline will be met as Government has said it will not lift its moratorium on drilling any time soon.

“Well it’s nigh impossible for this (the passing of legislation relating to oil drilling) to be accommodated within this Parliament,” Environment Minister Earl Deveaux told The Tribune last month.

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This makes sense

“One of the goals potentially of the MWCC group is to see how we can work together with the Helix group to try to accommodate solutions for all of the Gulf of Mexico,” Dupree (BP) said.

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AP report:

“The Deepwater Horizon BOP was unreasonably dangerous, and has caused and continues to cause harm, loss, injuries, and damages to BP (and others) stemming from the blowout of Macondo well, the resulting explosion and fire onboard the Deepwater Horizon, the efforts to regain control of the Macondo well, and the oil spill that ensued before control of the Macondo well could be regained,” BP said in the suit.

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Per the Citizens Voice, no injuries were reported

The Atgas 2H well operated by Chesapeake Energy in Leroy Township blew out at around 2 a.m., according to Bradford County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Skip Roupp.

The well was in the process of being hydraulically fractured and Roupp characterized the spilled fluid as “mostly water … with some contaminants” but he did not know the exact composition of the fluid.

Evidently the crack is in the top part of the well below the blowout preventer,” he said, referring to a device used in emergency situations to choke off flow from a well. “They don’t really know what happened yet because they don’t have it controlled yet.”

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Congratulations to Bristow for winning the 2011 National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Safety-in-Seas Award. Bristow, a helicopter company, was recognized for its “Target Zero” program.

I was honored to serve as one of the judges, and Bristow is a most deserving recipient of this prestigious award. To the best of my knowledge, the Safety-in-Seas program, which began in 1978, is the oldest safety award program for offshore oil and gas operations.

I would also like to congratulate the other Safety-in-Seas nominees. All of the nominations were outstanding. While we must learn from accidents and failures, we can also learn from successes. The achievements of outstanding companies and safety leaders deserve attention and recognition.

KATC.com provides more information on Bristow’s selection:

“Target Zero” is a comprehensive cultural and training system that seeks to achieve zero accidents, zero harm to people and zero harm to the environment across Bristow’s operations. Building on statistical data that indicated human error contributed to 4 out of 5 accidents or incidents, Bristow’s “Target Zero” has reduced the rate of air accidents in for example the Gulf of Mexico from 2 reportable air accidents and one air incident in 2007 to zero accidents or incidents, with similar results in subsequent years. Bristow has achieved a 47% improvement year on year in Lost Work-time Cases, with overall improvement from 2007 – 2009 of 88%. When it comes to the environment, Bristow’s “Target Zero has maintained a record of zero environmental incidents and has stepped up pro-active efforts to ensure this stays constant. 

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Proposal: Let’s make April 20th International Offshore Safety Day to honor those who have been killed or injured, to recognize the many workers who provide energy for our economies and way of life, and to encourage safety leadership by all offshore operators, contractors, and service companies.

Discussion: April 20th is, of course, the anniversary of the Macondo tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven men died on the Deepwater Horizon that day. Many other offshore workers have died or been injured exploring for and producing offshore energy.  167 workers were killed when Piper Alpha exploded in 1988, 84 died when the Ocean Ranger sank in 1982, 123 perished when the Alexander Kielland capsized in 1980, 17 died in a helicopter crash off Newfoundland in 2009, 11 died when the Petrobras 36 sank in the Roncador field in 2001, and many others have been killed working offshore. Some of these accidents, like last summer’s fatality on the Jack Ryan offshore Nigeria, receive no public notice. Others like the fall in the Gulf on Monday or the recent diver fatality in the North Sea receive just a brief mention.

In addition to honoring those killed or injured, Offshore Safety Day would draw attention to the importance of offshore workers, their dedication and commitment, progress that is being made in addressing offshore safety risks, and the outstanding safety management efforts of leading companies around the world.  It’s time for a day to honor offshore workers!

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An employee on a non-producing offshore natural gas platform died after falling through a deck opening on Monday, the U.S. offshore drilling regulator said.

The employee of Alliance Oilfield Services was working on a Hilcorp Energy platform in 375 feet of water about 129 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said in a statement. Hilcorp and Alliance are both privately-held companies. Reuters  

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CNN Poll

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 69 percent of Americans favor increased offshore drilling, with just over three in ten opposed. That 69 percent is up 20 points from last June, while the oil spill was still in progress, and is back to the level of support seen in the summer of 2008.

Confidence in government has shown a less significant increase.

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Jupiter Flotel

….interest in offshore accidents quickly diminishes.  The Pemex Jupiter semisubmersible quarters facility sank last week with 713 workers aboard (fortunately all were safely evacuated). This stunning near-disaster received minimal coverage. Follow-up reports are non-existent.  As our friend JL Daeschler asked, how does a flotel capsize in calm conditions and shallow water? What went wrong and why? Let’s hope that a comprehensive investigation is conducted and that the findings are shared worldwide (unlike Venezuela’s handling of the Aban Pearl sinking).

As we have noted before, Macondo would have disappeared from the news within a week if the deadly fire and explosion had not been followed by a sustained oil spill. The only investigation would have been by Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service (which would likely still exist). There would have been no National Commission, National Academy, Chemical Safety Board, or congressional investigations, and prosecution by the Justice Department would have been unlikely.

In the US, offshore spills are media events; other accidents are not. How much attention did the horrific fire and explosion that killed seven workers on the South Pass 60 B Platform receive in 1989? Virtually none. How about the lives lost in helicopter crashes? While the crash that killed 17 off Newfoundland in 2009 has been well studied and reported, offshore helicopter crashes in the US receive almost no attention. Ditto for crane accidents. If we want to build a proper safety culture, we need to pay as much attention to the low-profile accidents as we do the pollution spectaculars, and everyone needs to participate.

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