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The problems that led to this disastrous spill from a BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico were known. It's not me saying this, it's the Timesonline quoted at Alternet, an American news site. Problems with the type of equipment that led to the disaster were first reported a decade ago.
A decade ago. Now we have 11 people dead, and a catastrophe, as bad or worse than the Exxon Valdez in 1989. No one really knows how bad it will be-and it looks bad.
In June 2000, BP issued a "notice of default" to Transocean, the operator of the rig that blew up last month. The dispute was over problems with a "blowout preventer", a set of iron slabs that should close out-of-control wells.
This set of slabs that is supposed to seal off a leaky well failed on the Gulf of Mexico rig, triggering the explosion and oil spill.
Transocean acknowledged at the time that the preventer did "not work exactly right". The rig in question, the Discover Enterprise, was unable to operate for extended periods while the problem was fixed.
The preventer was made by Hydril, now owned by GE's oil and gas arm, and Cameron International, a Houston company.
Cameron also made the preventer on the Deepwater Horizon, the rig that exploded. Its preventer was fitted at about the same time BP was complaining of problems with its sister vessel.
Just more evidence that Big Oil cannot be trusted.
The 1969 Union Oil "blowout" in a Santa Barbara Channel drill rig is what led to the first Earth Day.
Big Oil needs tough regulation and safety standards. Off shore drilling is very dangerous. We all remember The Ocean Ranger an off shore drilling unit that belonged to Mobil that sank in 1982 killing 84 people.
A Royal Commission concluded that the Ocean Ranger was not safe, and that the crew lacked proper safety training, survival suits and equipment. The Commission also concluded that inspection and regulation by US and Canadian government agencies was ineffective.
Oil companies need to be closely policed. Oil rig workers need unions
Our union is the only one representing oil rig workers in Canada.
Our job is to protect them, their health and safety, and their jobs. And to work with environmentalists and public policy makers to safe guard our future here on planet earth.