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Was The BP Pipeline Problem Preventable?
NBC Nightly News/MSNBC ^ | August 8, 2006 | Aram Roston, Lisa Myers & the NBC Investigative Unit

Posted on 08/08/2006 4:38:02 PM PDT by John W

WASHINGTON - When British Petroleum (BP) shut down a vital oil pipeline, the company blamed "unexpectedly severe corrosion" in transit pipes. Yet only five months ago, BP's aging pipeline created the largest-ever oil spill on Alaska’s North Slope.

Federal regulators blamed the spill on "internal corrosion" and said in some areas the walls of the pipes were so corroded they were almost paper-thin.

So critics and industry experts say the latest problem was hardly a surprise.

"I think this was predictable and preventable," says Phil Flynn, an energy analyst with Alaron Trading Corp.

In fact, allegations about BP's maintenance practices have been so persistent that a criminal investigation now is under way into whether BP has for years deliberately shortchanged maintenance and falsified records to cover it up.

The criminal probe was triggered by Chuck Hamel, a longtime nemesis of the oil companies and advocate for oil workers.

"They're playing the Russian roulette up there," he says.

Hamel says a dozen past and current BP employees came to him claiming they'd been told to cut back on a chemical put into the system to retard rust and corrosion, and to falsify records. A federal official confirms that many of these workers have also talked to the FBI.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Alaska
KEYWORDS: bilderburgers; bp; corruption; criminalprobe; energy; fbi; greedybosses; illuminati; indicttheceo; indicttheexecs; moneypowergreed; oilcanharry; probe; robberbarons; whistleblowers
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1 posted on 08/08/2006 4:38:02 PM PDT by John W
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To: John W

Bush's fault ?


2 posted on 08/08/2006 4:39:47 PM PDT by kinoxi
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To: John W

This is nothing but MSNBC hog wash. The real problem is that we have been prevented from drilling for oil on both USA coasts and in Alaska by the Democrat Party. That's the problem. End of story!!! Treason is what's thats called!!!


3 posted on 08/08/2006 4:41:32 PM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX
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To: kinoxi

Nope it's BP.. that makes it Blair's fault.


4 posted on 08/08/2006 4:42:02 PM PDT by Almondjoy
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To: John W

This would not have happened if John Kerry were president.


5 posted on 08/08/2006 4:42:55 PM PDT by aomagrat (Just when you think you have it made in the shade, the tree falls on you.)
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To: John W

"Was The BP Pipeline Problem Preventable?"

That thorny question was long ago presented to the real experts-the lawyers. Which means we'll never know.


6 posted on 08/08/2006 4:44:09 PM PDT by Spok (He who bites the hand that feeds him will also lick the boot that kicks him.)
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To: John W

"Hamel says a dozen past and current BP employees came to him claiming they'd been told to cut back on a chemical put into the system to retard rust and corrosion, and to falsify records. A federal official confirms that many of these workers have also talked to the FBI."



I'm interested in what the investigation finds.


7 posted on 08/08/2006 4:45:45 PM PDT by ansel12 (Life is exquisite... of great beauty, keenly felt.)
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To: John W
It was designed to last 25 years and it lasted close to 30! If they had let Bush drill in ANWAR 6 years ago, we would be looking at $1.79 for gas and BP could have been down and no one would have noticed.

This message was caused by DEMOCRAPS: They care more for Caribou then they do about your family and you!


8 posted on 08/08/2006 4:46:13 PM PDT by Bommer
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To: John W
"I think this was predictable and preventable," says Phil Flynn, an energy analyst with Alaron Trading Corp.


Yep and so are most other major accidents...

But an analyst trying to churn money I'm not going to believe at this stage. At some point in the future with the ongoing investigations we'll know more facts and a better judgment can be ascertained.
9 posted on 08/08/2006 4:46:37 PM PDT by deport
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To: Almondjoy

On US soil?


10 posted on 08/08/2006 4:47:21 PM PDT by kinoxi
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To: John W
I have never seen so much of man's pathetic nature revealed as I have through the management and distribution of oil. The good news is the oil from below will kill us, but the oil from above (seven fold anointing of the Holy Spirit) will save us.
11 posted on 08/08/2006 4:48:03 PM PDT by HisKingdomWillAbolishSinDeath (Jesus always reads His knee-mail. (Hall of Fame Hit-N-Run poster))
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To: JLAGRAYFOX
The real problem is that we have been prevented from drilling for oil on both USA coasts and in Alaska by the Democrat Party.

OK, so BP shows that it is so inept that it can't manage the drilling effort going on now, so of course the problem is that they haven't had a chance to drill more. Sorry but BP through it's criminal ineptness has set back the cause of drilling in ANWAR for a decade. Anytime someone tries to make the case that drilling can be done in an environmentally sound manner with minimal impact to the wildlife, all the other side has to say is "BP" and it makes him out a liar.

12 posted on 08/08/2006 4:48:51 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: John W

Was The BP Pipeline Problem Preventable?

Let's see.....................

height of the "summer driving season"

Oil, gas at record highs.......................

the opportunity to lay off a bunch of workers and increase profits in the interim.......................

do some regular maintenance that should be done sometime anyway.......................

a governing body that will look the other way.............................

Nope, no chance this could have been done ANY other time in the 21st century.


13 posted on 08/08/2006 4:49:23 PM PDT by WhiteGuy (It's about the People Who Count the Votes................. - Wally O'Dell)
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To: John W

The Prudhoe Bay facility was constructed 29 years age with a design life of 20 years and planning to pump a total of 9.6 billion Barrels of oil. To this date we have pumped 14 billion barrels and exceeded the design life of the project by 9 years in a harsh arctic environment. No suprise at all that there is a lot of corrosion in the system.


14 posted on 08/08/2006 4:50:20 PM PDT by Species8472
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To: Non-Sequitur

You may be right.


15 posted on 08/08/2006 4:50:33 PM PDT by kinoxi
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To: Bommer
$1.79 for gas

No way.

When ANWR comes on line, assuming the TAPS is still capable of carrying oil, gasoline will be 29.9 cents like the good old days. Forever.

16 posted on 08/08/2006 4:52:12 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: John W
"Was The BP Pipeline Problem Preventable?:

That's what the straight man will say in the intro to the next sappy insipid BP commercial.

17 posted on 08/08/2006 4:54:06 PM PDT by OKSooner
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To: Species8472

Just imagine how many repairs BP could have funded if they had spent 1/2 the money they spend on global warming tv/print spots on preventative maintenance.


18 posted on 08/08/2006 4:54:56 PM PDT by RFC_Gal (It's not just a boulder; It's a rock! A ro-o-ock. The pioneers used to ride these babies for miles!)
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To: Species8472

Quit talking rationally. It upsets the conspiracy nuts.


19 posted on 08/08/2006 4:59:20 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Bommer

I thought the pipeline has actually helped to increase the Caribou population because it gives off heat and the more animals spend time around it, hence more mating.


20 posted on 08/08/2006 4:59:37 PM PDT by proudofthesouth (Mao said that power comes at the point of a rifle; I say FREEDOM does.)
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To: John W
I have a relative who works for a large company that does nothing but pipeline inspections, surveys, repairs and installations of corrosion prevention equipment. The pipelines (not sure if this particular one had it) can have a cathodic protection system installed that monitors and slows corrosion. Reality is that corrosion will always occur but it can me managed successfully. This system is not unlike the system we used to have in the Navy on our ships to do the same exact thing. With a properly installed and maintained system, there should have been no surprises as to the exact condition of the pipeline at any given time.
21 posted on 08/08/2006 5:00:34 PM PDT by jettester (I got paid to break 'em - not fly 'em)
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To: RightWhale
gasoline will be 29.9 cents like the good old days. Forever

or about $2.75 in todays dollars! LOL

22 posted on 08/08/2006 5:01:23 PM PDT by Species8472
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To: Bommer

Good eat'in too!


23 posted on 08/08/2006 5:04:27 PM PDT by spanalot
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To: Non-Sequitur

Living in denial, you are my friend.


24 posted on 08/08/2006 5:06:14 PM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX
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To: ansel12
Me too. The American people are being screwed over by big oil. If they fixed that pipeline next month gas prices would never drift back down to what they were a few weeks ago. We are being conditioned like cattle to gradually accept the higher prices. What drives me crazy is the fact that the vast majority of people couldn't seem to give a care less.
25 posted on 08/08/2006 5:06:53 PM PDT by Vote 4 Nixon (EAT...FISH...SLEEP...REDUX)
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To: ansel12
ansell2: "I'm interested in what the investigation finds."

Me too.

Hamel says a dozen past and current BP employees came to him claiming they'd been told to cut back on a chemical put into the system to retard rust and corrosion, and to falsify records.

If this turns out to be true...well, I'm forever amazed at the flipping idiocy of people who can't see the inevitable result. Penny wise and prison foolish.

26 posted on 08/08/2006 5:12:56 PM PDT by decimon
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To: kinoxi

Sure.. it's a British Company and obviously it's poorly run because Blair is in power.. he can't handle Iraq and he can't handle his oil companies.

It's because Bush and Blair our friends that Blair must of paid off Bush to look the other way since it was on U.S. soil.

Blair's fault and Bush is the scapegoat.

Sarc off.


27 posted on 08/08/2006 5:31:14 PM PDT by Almondjoy
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To: jettester

BP Environmental management systems
http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=2011367&contentId=2016619

"Corrosion management
BPXA spends about $50 million annually to monitor, locate, repair and manage the effects of corrosion that occurs when an electrochemical process breaks down steel. On Alaska's North Slope, we operate thousands of steel vessels and most of the 1,600-plus miles of pipelines that carry oil, water and gas from wellsites through processing facilities and ultimately to sales or injection points. We semi-annually review our corrosion plan with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Under the plan, corrosion managers direct corrosion mitigation resources to protect and extend the life of the assets.

Internal corrosion rates have declined 90% since 1992. The annual inspection program consists of approximately 100,000 locations. Internal corrosion inspections have remained relatively constant with about 60,000 inspections per year. The external corrosion program was substantially increased in 2002 from the historical level of more than 13,000 locations per year to about 35,000 locations in 2003. External corrosion was the cause of a 6,000-gallon oil and water spill in Prudhoe Bay in May 2003. The line was shut down for several days and repaired, and crews completed site cleanup. BP has committed to the state oversight agency to gather soil and water samples to assess the natural attenuation of the site through the summer of 2005.


28 posted on 08/08/2006 5:38:57 PM PDT by gpapa (Boost FR Traffic! Make FR your home page!)
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To: jettester

There have been some unexpected sulfate reducing bacteria creating new problems.

From the earlier spill this year:
BP: Learning from oil spill lessons
http://www.petroleumnews.com/pntruncate/573947058.shtml


29 posted on 08/08/2006 5:40:45 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: gpapa

Systems and system narratives are great.Actual recordkeeping of what really happened will be more important in the criminal investigation.


30 posted on 08/08/2006 5:41:34 PM PDT by John W
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To: thackney; gpapa

Thank you for the input.


31 posted on 08/08/2006 5:53:25 PM PDT by jettester (I got paid to break 'em - not fly 'em)
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To: Vote 4 Nixon
The American people are being screwed over by big oil.

I pay about the same for a gallon of milk and I don't think I'm being "screwed over" by cows!

32 posted on 08/08/2006 6:11:51 PM PDT by lonestar (Me, too--Weinie)
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To: Bommer
I'd hit that...


33 posted on 08/08/2006 6:17:02 PM PDT by in the Arena
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To: Species8472
The Prudhoe Bay facility was constructed 29 years age with a design life of 20 years

And in the last 5 years, BP has sucked in over 60 Billion Dollars In Profit...

If the life expectancy was 20 years, there's no excuse for not having a new system in place ready to switch over...Oh, except for greed...

34 posted on 08/08/2006 6:22:15 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: lonestar
I pay about the same for a gallon of milk and I don't think I'm being "screwed over" by cows!

Start drinking 5-10 gallons of milk a day and heat your house with warm milk, you might start singing another tune, Or, buy your own cow...

35 posted on 08/08/2006 6:26:46 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: in the Arena
I'd hit that...

Not my cup a tea, but heh, and you got some big horns to hold on to...

36 posted on 08/08/2006 6:28:41 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool

When would you have shut dow our largest oilfield to replace the pipeline? Just curious as to when the optimun time would have been


37 posted on 08/08/2006 6:37:24 PM PDT by Figment
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To: Iscool

"Start drinking 5-10 gallons of milk a day and heat your house with warm milk, you might start singing another tune, Or, buy your own cow..."


The environmentalists would outlaw cows if you could power an SUV on milk


38 posted on 08/08/2006 6:40:53 PM PDT by Figment
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To: Iscool
And in the last 5 years, BP has sucked in over 60 Billion Dollars In Profit...

Wow, 60 billion. For perspective,what was their profit as a percentage of revenue? How does that percentage compare to the average corporate profit?

If the life expectancy was 20 years, there's no excuse for not having a new system in place ready to switch over...Oh, except for greed...

Greed? Being shut down for months at a loss of $28 million dollars per day in revenue doesn't sound like greed. It's more likely that their monitoring of corrosion was inadequate or corrosion conditions in the pipe may have suddenly changed, e.g. the new occurence of sulfate reducing bacteria resulting in higher concentrations of hyrdogen sulfide gas, which especially in the presence of CO2, can rapidly accelerate corrosion.

39 posted on 08/08/2006 6:45:12 PM PDT by Titanites
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To: Bommer
They care more nothing for Caribou and then they do even less about your family and you!

Caring for the environment, the poor, downtrodden, working class, homeless, single mothers, and homosexuals is all just a smokescreen. They care about power, even if they have to walk all over you to get it. Keeping you away from plentiful energy gives them power over you (and me).
40 posted on 08/08/2006 6:47:59 PM PDT by seowulf
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To: Figment

Replacement should be an ongoing process. Build a one-mile bypass pipe and replace the main line. When that section is complete, move the whole operation down the line and work on the next mile of pipe.

Doing it that way can't be any more expensive than the amount of money BP claims to be "losing" every day the corroded line is shutdown. It's called common sense and planning.

If any of this BS was truly on the level, every BP employee and manager in charge of maintenance and upkeep would be replaced. This is a dog and pony show to keep pump prices jacked up.


41 posted on 08/08/2006 7:13:29 PM PDT by NorthWoody (Hey, politicians! Stand up, be men, do your jobs and close the borders while there's still time.)
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To: jettester
Worked for a Water Authority for awhile doing inspection on our lines. We had dudes come in from Texas to teach us about cathodic protection and inspection.

Our lines are all wrapped. Generally it's a break that is the real revealer. No system is pefect but slapping in a temporary by-pass and a couple extra valves seems like an alternative.

42 posted on 08/08/2006 7:23:25 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: lonestar

People pay a buck for 12 oz of water and think nothing of it. Too lazy to fill a bottle with tap water. Walk to the store to save gas?? Yeh, right!!


43 posted on 08/08/2006 7:27:08 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Titanites
For perspective,what was their profit as a percentage of revenue? How does that percentage compare to the average corporate profit?

First off, BP is not the average corporation...The country is not dependent on the Keebler or the Chef Pierre Pie corporations to keep afloat...We don't have to eat pies and cookies...

AND, my complaint was not on the amount of their profit...My complaint was that since this company has such a massive top line, it certainly could have spent some of the massive profits on maintenance and replacement of bad parts especially since the system was well beyond it's life expectancy...

With the massive profits, I wouldn't be surprised that BP will actually save money thru tax loopholes with the dowtime to repair the system...

44 posted on 08/08/2006 7:58:11 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
LOL...let me clarify...


45 posted on 08/08/2006 7:59:23 PM PDT by in the Arena
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To: Figment
When would you have shut dow our largest oilfield to replace the pipeline? Just curious as to when the optimun time would have been

I would suspect this crude goes into, or has the capability to go into storage tanks somewhere along the line...I assume that would have been part of the initial planning stage to compensate for any maintenance operations...

A scheduled repair would be far less costly in downtime compared to shutting down and replacing the entire piping system...

46 posted on 08/08/2006 8:02:20 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: John W

To all of you out there commenting on BP and its ineptitude. This subject is/was being discussed earlier today at this link: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1679898/posts

One of the points discussed there happens to be which pipeline was the problem. I have noticed that the current discussion does not even come close to where the problem lies.


47 posted on 08/08/2006 8:20:54 PM PDT by egfowler3 (Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.)
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To: Iscool
it certainly could have spent some of the massive profits on maintenance and replacement of bad parts especially since the system was well beyond it's life expectancy

So you contend that they haven't spent anything on maintenance or replacement parts over the last 29 years. Interesting, but I'm certain that is not true.

With the massive profits

It sure sounds like you have a problem with big profits, but you don't even know if they are massive if you can't tell us their net percentage or return on investment. Are you sure you're posting on the right website? Here's a tip for you - if their profits are so massive, you should buy their stock, then you can benefit from them instead of complaining. But don't make too big of a return or somebody will start complaining about you.

I wouldn't be surprised that BP will actually save money thru tax loopholes with the dowtime to repair the system

I'm sure BP is overjoyed that they have shut down production and are losing revenue at the rate of $28 million per day. With those huge loopholes, do you think there's any incentive for them to even start shipping oil again?

48 posted on 08/08/2006 8:53:42 PM PDT by Titanites
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To: Iscool
I would suspect this crude goes into, or has the capability to go into storage tanks somewhere along the line...I assume that would have been part of the initial planning stage to compensate for any maintenance operations...

How is the crude supposed to get to or leave the tanks if the tranport pipeline is leaking?

49 posted on 08/08/2006 9:05:04 PM PDT by Titanites
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To: Titanites
How is the crude supposed to get to or leave the tanks if the tranport pipeline is leaking?

The same way it got to whereever it goes before they shut the lines down...

50 posted on 08/08/2006 9:36:22 PM PDT by Iscool
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