Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Only BP Knows

BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells, BP's most effective communicator to date, said:

"I've had to take these steps to learn the things I've learned. Without taking those steps, it's unlikely that I would have known what I know now."

That's indicative of the hand BP and the government played over 3 months. Consider their latest move, delaying well integrity tests using the capping stack:

The decision to delay the test was made by federal authorities and BP officials Tuesday afternoon, Wells said. But the delay was not announced until Allen and BP put out news releases late Tuesday night -- continuing a pattern in which officials have waited many hours to inform the public of what is happening in the gulf.

In late May, for example, officials waited almost a day to reveal that they had suspended the top kill effort, and the news media continued to report, inaccurately, that the mud was being pumped into the well.

The top kill effort produced well pressure data. It revealed clues as to the well's integrity or lack thereof. The government conducted seismic tests on the formation around the well. The results came in prior to the announced delay.

Many have asked for information on well integrity. Little has been forthcoming. Obama missed numerous opportunities to be honest with the American people, using the crisis to push his political priorities. Those can come after the spew is stopped, while clean up continues.

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