Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Big Oil, it takes one to tango

A week ago, Guambat had a brief post. He extracted the following quote from an article that really didn't have any context for this particular extract:
Mr Tony Hayward, BP's CEO, told the BBC the permit regime in the US was as rigorous as anywhere in the world.
Not terribly impressed with the implications, Guambat asked,
How does THAT make you feel?
Turns out, that was not as rhetorical as Guambat thought when he made that flippant remark:

AP INVESTIGATION: Oil self-regulates around globe
The U.S. government is not alone in ceding responsibility to the oil industry for the design of key safety features on offshore rigs, a trend coming under scrutiny worldwide following the deadly blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Across the globe, industry-driven regulation is the norm, not the exception.

An Associated Press investigation shows other nations harvesting oil and gas from offshore fields, including Britain, Norway, Australia and Canada, have moved in the same direction: Governments set the general safety standards that must be met, but leave it to rig operators to work out the details.

The shift away from more heavy-handed regulation started about two decades ago and was based on the notion that oil companies best know the risks of offshore operations - and how to minimize them.

But the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20 and another platform incident in the Timor Sea off Australia last year have raised concerns that Big Oil has been given too much leeway to police itself.

Read on.

For some reason (Guambat makes mental associations that are far from rational), the image of riding a bicycle with no hands on the handles comes to mind. It's a wonderfully free feeling of almost flying -- until it all goes pear shaped.

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