Despite the fact that oil and dead animals are still washing up on Gulf Shore beaches, the U.S. Government has granted BP permission to immediately begin drilling for oil off the coast of Louisiana.
Under the permit issued Wednesday by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the British oil company will be allowed to start drilling operations at its Kaskida field about 192 miles off the Louisiana coast.
BP plans to drill the newly approved well in 6,034 feet of water – about 1,000 feet deeper than its doomed Macondo project. Drilling could begin within days using Seadrill’s 3-year-old West Sirius semi-submersible rig, reports SF Gate.
Although many Gulf Coast residents say they are still waiting for BP to make good on its promise to refund money lost during the oil spill disaster of 2010, the White House claims the company has met all of the enhanced safety regulations put in place over the last year.
In addition to meeting the bureau’s rigorous standards, BSEE stated that BP has met the additional standards it volunteered to adhere to in July 2011. These voluntary standards include: the use of blind shear rams and a casing shear ram on subsea blowout preventers (BOPs); third party verification of BOP testing and maintenance; and laboratory testing of cement slurries.
Of course, there were plenty of safety regulations in place back in April 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon exploded killing 11 workers and permanently contaminating the Gulf of Mexico–but a government investigation found that BP, Transocean, and Haliburton (among others) routinely ignored these rules to increase the well’s output.
The government seems to believe that they’ve changed their ways, but I’m inclined to believe the old adage: “Once a cheater, always a cheater.”
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