Tag: Gulf oil spill

Kiran Stacey

Macondo explosionThe BP oil spill has harmed the reputation of the entire oil industry, the chief executive of Shell, BP’s closest rival, has said.

Answering Energy Source readers’ questions, Peter Voser said:

Undeniably, the Macondo incident has greatly harmed the oil industry’s reputation. Our ablity to drill in deep water has been questioned, and that’s a serious matter.

Kiran Stacey

Image by Shell

Many thanks for all your questions for Yvo de Boer, former head of the UN climate change department and current advisor to KPMG. His answers will appear on this site on Friday, December 10th.

Next week, the person in the hotseat will be Peter Voser, the boss of one of the world’s biggest oil companies, Shell. This is your chance to ask him anything you want, from the controversy surrounding oil sands, to why Shell thinks gas is so important, to the prospects for drilling in the Gulf following the BP spill.

Email all your questions to energysource@ft.com by the end of Monday, December 13th.

Kiran Stacey

The Obama administration has decided not to grant any new leases in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida, for the foreseeable future, as a result of the BP spill.

AP broke the story, reporting that the ban would last seven years:

A senior administration official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that drilling leases won’t be considered in the waters off Florida as part of the change. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision hadn’t been announced yet.

He said that because of the BP spill, the administration now understands the need to elevate safety and environmental standards. Before the spill, the administration had considered a plan to allow drilling in the eastern Gulf.

One note of caution: the NY Times has the same story, but is reporting that the ban would last “at least for the next five years”. Presumably the picture will become clearer when Ken Salazar has made the formal announcement this afternoon.

Kiran Stacey

Our US energy editor Ed Crooks last night won the UK Foreign Press Association’s print and web news story of the year for his inside story on BP’s response to the Gulf spill.

You can read the story, which judges called a “rigorous and balanced” piece on “one of the biggest stories of the year”, here.

Kiran Stacey

In February, a group of business leaders (including Richard Branson) came together to issue the government a warning: we’ve had the credit crisis, the next crisis will be a peak oil crisis.

Their message to government was to stop listening to the over-exuberance of oil companies who promised great things from their upstream operations and start thinking seriously about how to move away from the UK’s dependence on oil.

Now they have repeated that call, with an additional warning: Macondo has made the situation even more pressing.

Kiran Stacey

Here’s an interesting story from the States with potentially serious political implications.

The US interior department’s inspector general has carried out an investigation into why the government’s  moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, implemented in the wake of the BP oil spill, looked like it had been peer-reviewed, when it had not.

The investigation found the following sequence of events:

Kiran Stacey

Tony Hayward’s first interview since stepping down as CEO of BP airs on UK television tonight. And it looks like it’s going to mark another fascinating chapter in the terrible story of the Gulf oil spill.

A preview from the BBC on Tuesday presented snippets of Hayward describing just how dire the financial situation became for the company. Amongst other things, Hayward admits that banks had even stopped lending to BP  before his meeting with President Obama on June 16:

Prior to the meeting, the capital markets were effectively closed to BP. We were not able to borrow either short or medium-term debt at all.

Sheila McNulty

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.

Kiran Stacey

So BP will restore its dividend next year, it seems, but at a significantly lower level than what it used to pay. For a highly cash-generative company which is currently in the process of divesting many of its growth assets, is this a good idea?

The answer, from the City at least, is a resounding yes.

Kiran Stacey

Energy analysts are still digesting news from the US last night that the US National Commission investigating the Macondo oil spill had found that both BP and Halliburton had known about problems with the cement used to seal the well, but did not act on the information.

The company itself has come out all guns blazing, issuing a 1,300 word statement contesting the findings of the report. In it, the company states robustly:

Halliburton does not believe that the foam cement design used on the Macondo well was the cause of the incident.

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