"Schrader said that the September 17th shutdown of the Central Azeri (CA) platform" was the largest such emergency evacuation in BP's history. Given the explosive potential, BP was quite fortunate to have been able to evacuate everyone safely and to prevent any gas ignition. " Due to the blowout of a gas-injection well there was "a lot of mud' on the platform."
From other sources, we discovered the cement which failed had been mixed with nitrogen as a way to speed up drying, a risky process that was repeated on the Deepwater Horizon.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president Waterkeeper Alliance and senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council, calls the concealment of this information, "criminal. We have laws that make it illegal to hide this."
The cables also reveal that BP's oil-company partners knew about the blow-out but they too concealed the information from Congress, regulators and the Securities Exchange Commission.
BP's major US partners in the Caspian Sea drilling operation were Chevron and Exxon. The State Department got involved in the matter because BP's U.S. partners and the Azerbaijani government were losing over $50 million per day due to the platform's shutdown. The Embassy cabled Washington:
"BP's ACG partners are similarly upset with BP's performance in this episode, as they claim BP has sought to limit information flow about this event even to its ACG partners."
Kennedy is concerned about the silent collusion of Chevron, Exxon and the Azerbaijani government. "The only reason the public doesn't know about it is because the Azerbaijani government conspired with them to disappear the people who saw it happen and then to act in concert, in collusion, in cahoots with BP, with Exxon, with Chevron to conceal this event from the American public." -- To read the full story go to EcoWatch.org -- Check out the Youtube video
Re-prints permitted with credit to EcoWatch.org and the author.
Greg Palast is the author of Vultures' Picnic (Penguin 2011), which centers on his investigation of BP, bribery and corruption in the oil industry. Palast, whose reports are seen on BBC-TV and Britain's Channel 4, will be providing investigative reports for EcoWatch.org.
You can read Vultures' Picnic, "Chapter 1: Goldfinger," or download it, at no charge: click here.