BP’s unsafe refineries

This 1 November 2013 video says about itself:

Profit Pollution and Deception: BP and the Oil Spill. BBC Documentary

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the BP oil disaster, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and the Macondo blowout) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. It claimed eleven lives and is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, an estimated 8% to 31% larger in volume than the previously largest, the Ixtoc I oil spill. Following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, a sea-floor oil gusher flowed for 87 days, until it was capped on 15 July 2010. The total discharge has been estimated at 4.9 million barrels (210 million US gal; 780,000 m3).

From Reuters new agency:

Tue Dec 13, 2016 | 10:39pm IST

Slack management exposed BP to high safety risk – leaked report

By Ron Bousso | LONDON

BP‘s refining operations are exposed to high safety risks that can lead to deadly accidents and pollution as a result of slack management and a lack of investment, according to a leaked internal report from 2015.

The report, co-authored by BP, IBM and industry consultancy WorleyParsons, states that the British company’s refining and petrochemical business, known as downstream, is trailing rivals such as Royal Dutch Shell by up to seven years in managing information to reduce safety risks and financial losses.

“Inadequate management and use of engineering information has been a root cause or contributing factor” in 15 percent of 500 high-risk incidents reviewed in the report, which was provided by Greenpeace.

BP has strived to improve its safety record since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico where 11 people were killed and which led to the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. …

The most significant incident recorded by the authors occurred in January 2014 at the 413,500 barrels per day (bpd) Whiting, Indiana refinery which cost BP $258 million in lost production. The incident at the gasoil hydrotreater unit, which removes sulphur from oil, was due to “multiple deficiencies in engineering information management”.

At the Hull petrochemical plant in northern England equipment that was not operated correctly led to losses of $35 million to $45 million.

BP’s safety record came in to focus in 2005 when a blast at its Texas City refinery killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. BP was fined $84.6 million by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration between 2005 and 2012 for safety rules violations found at the refinery in investigations following the blast.

The report said highly material safety risk and financial performance issues remained due to “the lack of refining and petrochemicals-wide direction, governance, coordination and investment”.

The upstream segment, which produces oil and gas, has further work to do but is however significantly ahead of downstream, the report said …

Greenpeace UK‘s senior climate adviser Charlie Kronick said in a statement that “BP‘s sloppy approach to a crucial aspect of safety hasn’t changed”.

“The same happy-go-lucky attitude that played a role in major accidents in the past is seemingly still reflected in the management of safety information across the oil giant’s operations from rig to refinery.”

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Susan Thomas)

2 thoughts on “BP’s unsafe refineries

  1. Pingback: BP’s unsafe refineries — Dear Kitty. Some blog | Indiĝenaj Inteligenteco

  2. Wednesday 14th December 2016

    posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

    A SERIOUS incident at BP’s chemical plant in Hull, which was never made public, could have been lethal, according to a leaked internal report.

    The document, received by environmental campaigners at Greenpeace, says that BP’s handling of information may be increasing the risk of major accidents at the oil giant’s plants across the world.

    The near-miss at the chemical plant in Hull was serious enough to be considered of “high potential.” Another incident there, which involved a failure to operate a piece of equipment properly, cost the firm more than £27 million.

    BP established Saltend Chemical Park in 2009. The 370-acre site is located on the banks of the Humber just a few hundred yards from people’s homes.

    The list of failures highlighted in the report ranges from missing blueprints to crucial anti-blowout devices being wrongly installed.

    It states that, in recent years, these have resulted in “repeated near-misses” and at least one serious incident at a major refinery in the United States where an entire unit’s oil contents were accidentally flared.

    The report warns that systems designed to prevent problems are so weak there is a real risk of leaks or vapour cloud explosions and that the problem “requires urgent attention.”

    Greenpeace UK’s senior climate adviser Charlie Kronick said: “Nearly seven years have passed since the Deepwater Horizon disaster and BP’s sloppy approach to a crucial aspect of safety hasn’t changed.

    “The same happy-go-lucky attitude that played a role in major accidents in the past is seemingly still reflected in the management of safety information across the oil giant’s operations from rig to refinery.

    “For a company that’s been trying to drill in some of the world’s most fragile environments this is completely unacceptable.”

    Greenpeace said that, when contacted, BP would not confirm if and how the concerns in the report had been acted on.



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