At least while the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe is the talk of the town, that is.
That is not the case according to plaintiffs BP Contractor Kenneth Abbott and watchdog Food & Water Watch, Inc., who have sued the Obama Administration for injunctive relief in the Federal District Court in Houston, Texas.
Ironically the BP oil rig at issue is named BP Atlantis, which probably would be a good nickname for the Deepwater Horizon that sank beneath the waves like the legendary Atlantis.
In addition to the Complaint, the plaintiffs have filed a Motion For Preliminary Injunction which, if granted, would order the Obama Administration to order BP to cease and desist operations on the BP Atlantis deep water drilling rig until it complies with the law.
Dredd Blog has acquired copies of the Complaint, Motion For Preliminary Injunction (Motion), Exhibits A-F to the Motion, and a proposed Order Granting Preliminary Injunction.
That order has not been granted yet, since the Obama Administration has not yet replied nor has a hearing been held.
If granted, the proposed order would become an actual order, which would have this language:
The court finds as a fact that oil and gas production from the BP Atlantis facility is in violation of the statutes and applicable regulations, and that continued production from the facility constitutes and creates an imminent threat of immediate and irreparable harm to the environment of the Gulf of Mexico and waters of the United States located therein, the court further finds that the violations are so wide-ranging and pervasive that it would be impossible for such violations to be remedied within a short period of time and that an immediate shutdown of production from such platform is necessary for the protection of the environment of the Gulf of Mexico and waters of the United States located therein.(Case 4:10-cv-01759, Document 2-7, Filed in TXSD on 05/17/10, Page 1 of 2). The Motion points out some interesting facts about BP Atlantis:
First producing oil in 2007, the BP Atlantis Facility is one of the deepest moored floating dual oil and gas-production facilities in the world. It has a production capacity of 8.4 million gallons of oil per day and 180 million cubic feet of gas per day.(Case 4:10-cv-01759, Document 2, Filed in TXSD on 05/17/10, Page 2 of 21). Those with engineering or construction experience will at once realize the danger of not having as-built blueprints and supporting documentation.
In August 2008, Plaintiff Kenneth Abbott, a BP contractor who had been hired to supervise the BP’s databases that maintain critical project documentations, became aware that BP did not have a large number of “as-built” drawings for the subsea components of the BP Atlantis Facility, and specifically, that it did not have accurately coded and complete “as-built” drawings for its producing subsea components, including “as-built” risers and Piping and Instrument Diagrams (“P&IDs”). Engineering projects such as the BP Atlantis Facility involve multiple phases of engineering documents, beginning as design concepts and ending with “as-built” engineering documents.
It is at once clear how vital they are when we consider how Plan A (the original plan) can become Plan D, like it has in the Deepwater Horizon calamity as BP tries Plan A, then B, then C, and now Plan D.
Without actual drawings and specifications showing the final results, as compared to the original proposed drawings and specifications, one can only hope they were able to build exactly to original drawings and specifications.
It is not usual for that to happen, so the following words in the Motion ring true:
Because engineering documents may change drastically from the first phase “issued for approval” documentation to the final phase “as-built” documentation, “as-built” engineering documents are critical to operations as they reflect precisely the design of the component and system, and can be likened to vital “blueprints” for an incredibly complex structure involving millions of moving parts and systems. Simply put, without properly maintained “as-built” engineering documents, persons operating the BP Atlantis Facility are flying blind, and have no way to assure the safety of offshore drilling operations, and no way to assure that another calamitous oil spill, like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, will not reoccur.(Case 4:10-cv-01759, Document 2, Filed in TXSD on 05/17/10, Page 3 of 21, emphasis added). There have been enough Atlantis events of late, so lets hope they prevail against BP.
If anyone wants a free copy of any of the documents in the case that were mentioned above, email Dredd Blog and I will send you a PDF of the document.