Today’s public hearing by the National Oil Spill Commission has been a good education for anyone who has read bits and pieces about the various investigations into the explosion of BP’s Macondo well, but still felt they did not have a complete understanding of how the whole drilling process works.
Fred Bartlit, chief counsel, came prepared with numerous high-tech slides and graphics that explained every detail of the well, how it was drilled and what might have gone wrong.
What he did not do was apportion blame. Mr Bartlit said that was not his role. The commission is supposed to make recommendations in January on the best ways to prevent and respond to major offshore oil spills.
Nonetheless, he has offered a few conclusions that will figure into the various lawsuits into who is to blame for what in the April 20 disaster that left 11 dead and 17 injured.
Here’s some news that will cheer both environmentalists and hydrocarbon producers.
The UK government is going to open up its CCS trials to gas plants as well as coal ones. After the first demonstration, the next batch of three will be open to applications from gas-fired power plants.
Chris Huhne said in a statement:
We are determined to ensure the UK continues to be at the forefront of CCS development – and this sets us on course to lead the world in the development of CCS on gas as well as coal.
Last month, I blogged on worries within the oil and gas industry that it could be running out of workers.
Executives have been worried for a while that their workforces are getting older, with a lack of new talent coming in to replace retiring staff. Instead, young engineers and other bright graduates who are looking for a career in industry are heading for the much more sexy green energy sector.