He knew it and blew it; He knew the general health of the project and did nothing; but he could justify the exploration using the term, ‘National Security.’
'Since no one can get down there in person, we know there's a level of uncertainty,' President Obama said.
So if you, as a reader or researcher, make a fervent effort to link activities, you’re liable to find the information available fifteen days ago using traditional search tools has disappeared along with the Gulf oil.
The story as we know, see and have verified:
The name Macondo is the same name as the fictitious cursed town in the novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Colombian Nobel-prize winning writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Oil companies routinely assign code names to offshore prospects early in the exploration effort to helps ensure secrecy during the confidential pre-sale phases.
The blown-out well is located in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 (MCB252) of the Gulf of Mexico. Multinational oil company BP is the operator and principal developer of the oil field with a 65% interest, while 25% is owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and 10% by Mitsui. The well volume is believed to be estimated at up to 4 billion barrels or the equivalent of $300 billion at today’s market rate for crude.
BP purchased the mineral rights to drill for oil in the Macondo prospect at the Minerals Management Service's Lease Sale #206 in March 2008. The initial exploration plan included drilling and the temporary abandonment of two exploration wells over the Macondo well and was submitted by BP for approval approximately 80 days after President Obama’s inauguration. The deal was approved by the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) an organization within the Department of Interior, spearheaded by career politician,who assumed office presumably on January 20, 2009 by a selection committee voice vote confirmation; inauguration day for President Obama.
BP is in the deepwater drilling business because of a profit motivation of 13-17% in incentives. There’s money to be made by everyone as you’ll see.
Anytime President Obama says 'there's plenty of blame to go around,' that actually means that the federal government has their nose stuck somewhere it doesn’t belong.
Salazar from Interior and MMS along with a team of lobbyists and campaign contributors convinced President Obama to buy into the Macondo prospect deal. How could Obama say no? BP was a huge contributor to his campaign. It was a deal not to refuse and could be sold to the left element of the Obama machine under the notion that given published reports, the Macondo field implied a source matter for immediate 'National Security.'
Although it appears that the President knew what his administration was cooperating with in the prospect well, he allowed himself to be persuaded into a decision by his own advisors including Salazar, a 25 year career politician with absolutely no technical credibility nor expertise in subsurface geology or underwater exploration. After all, what would a lawyer, attorney general, a U.S. Senator and finally an Interior Secretary know about energy exploration?
According to available sources on June 20-21 in Gulfport, Mississippi, within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)**, Salazar’s Departments told Obama that the ‘metric volume in the Macondo find at MCB252 in the Gulf’ would cover America’s oil thirst for up to eight months in the event the Israeli’s launched an attack on Iran resulting in closure of the Straits of Hormuz, the gateway to the Saudi oil terminals in Ras Tanura and oil tanker flow to and from the U.S.
Alternatively, shipping from the Port of Yanbu on the Red Sea in Saudi, Arabia was not a viable option because the Red Sea was not logistically capable of handling import/export tanker traffic on demand if Hormuz was blocked. Furthermore, there was a pirating concern that a transport ship could be disabled and also obstruct the entrance to the Red Sea at some point north of Djibouti in Somalia.
The Saudi’s have huge transport capacity in their east-west pipeline to the Red Sea. That pipeline is joined to other neighboring countries’ export pipeline infrastructure such as Iraq’s but the total world demand outstrips the supply that would be available and that could be determined to be a ’National Security’ issue for the U.S. and fundamentally the rest of the world.
On that note, it is believed that Obama, Salazar, Chu and other politi-co-medians gave BP the green light for Macondo on or about March 30, 2009; afterall, 3-4 billion barrels of oil.
On October 07, 2009 the Transocean Marianas was the first oil rig to begin drilling in the Macondo prospect oil field. That’s correct. The Deepwater Horizon never began the deep-well drilling. Deepwater Horizon only came on the scene after Marianas drilled 4000 feet and had to stop because of alleged damage from Hurricane Ida in early November. Marianas was taken out of service on or about November 28, 2009.
BP than leased the Transocean Deepwater Horizon for a 3 year period through 2013 for the amount of roughly $1 billion to include the equipment, a crew with required gear and support/supply craft. At a cost of approximately $1 million per operating day, the Deepwater Horizon resumed drilling operations in February, 2010 and exploded on April 20, 2010 killing 11 people. The rig was insured for $560 million for total cost removal and replacement.
Ken Salazar pledged to reform the MMS which had been found to have traded sex, drugs and financial favors with oil-company executives by the U.S. Inspector General.
On January 29, 2009 in a press release regarding MMS scandals, Salazar stated, ‘President Obama’s and my goal is to restore the public’s trust, to enact meaningful reform; to uphold the law, and to ensure that all of us do our jobs with the highest level of integrity.’ As noted all through the media, he/they failed.
Within 90 days of that press release, Salazar and company allowed the MMS to approve, with no environmental review, a drilling operation that exploded, killed 11 workers and dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Unintended consequences are stated in a press release from Governor Haley Barbour on Thursday. He asked his State Attorney General Hood to delay attempts to file suit over BP. The rationale was genuine and an analogy to the Valdez spill was made. If lawsuits are piled on BP in exorbitant numbers, BP may stop paying just like Exxon did at the time of the Alaskan spill because the process would became so cumbersome that it would bring progress of remuneration to halt, with Barbour being correct with his assessment.
In many legal circles, opinion is that the same Valdez incident could happen and BP might just walk away with its remaining gulf oil pioneers and partners to move to places where there are less operational constraints, leaving the U.S. government to try and negotiate a settlement that may never happen. However, not likely with 3 billion barrels of oil at the sea floor owned under a BP concession.
The net outcome would be that the U.S. would have to import more foreign oil because the prospect of a $41,000 Chevy Volt from Obama Motors doesn’t look to promising at this time nor in the future; $33.500 based on a subsidy of $7,500 of taxpayer money for a car the size of an E*Z*GO Shuttle 6 golf cart.
On May 14, 2010, 25 days after the explosion and from the Rose Garden, President Obama assigned blame to oil companies, drilling equipment makers and federal agencies that oversee their operations, and than said, 'I will not tolerate more finger-pointing or irresponsibility; there's plenty of blame to go around.'
So more than 100 days have gone; 100 million gallons of oil are gone; BP is campaigning a plan to change their name; and the President is planning his campaign to raise election contributions and to go on vacation again.
Really, one has to ask who’s in charge?
The candidates are a community organizer, an Energy Department, the EPA and Interior Department heads, with aggregated staffing of 210,000 federal and contractor employees, run by all career politicians and Nobel-prize winners; but no one to step forward and make a succinct decision to conduct risk-management assessments on processes that may have caused the greatest man-made ecological disaster in our life times.
To media investigative reporters: most of you have aborted the story already because the outcome seems to lead to the same conclusion; facts disappear before your eyes and just lead to more questions.
Yes Mr. President, you really do need to demonstrate full responsibility. This is your Oil Mess on Your Back on Your Watch and by Your Authorization !
The column writer, Hank Richards, is an oil industry expert, having worked the middle-east oil fields in up and down stream operations for seven years at Saudi ARAMCO in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
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Hank Richards is a prostate cancer survivor and a nationwide recognized public speaker on the issue. If you want to schedule him for your next speaking venue, just call the number listed below.
He is a free-lance writer and contributed 4 columns for the Examiner, 1 for Politico-Arena Casual Commentary, the Canada Free Press, plus AllRight and AllVoices Magazine
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**background data verified by Capital Earnings & Research, one of his Huntsville, Alabama PR firm