Black death below the surface curls toward shore, threatening to snuff the breath of life from all flora and fauna that live in the once pristine environment.
Thank you to Dick Eastman for his commentary and his work at compiling the articles and analyses below.
THE REST OF THE STORY ON BRITISH PETROLEUM
AND THE OIL DISASTER NOW HAPPENING
IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
Media running interference for BP.
By Dick Eastman
May 7, 2010
A wall as big as the wall against the 9-11 evidence
has been lifted up over the
British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon sabotage/negligence
event in the Gulf of Mexico.
Today the New York Times had no story at all. Yesterday I listened to National Public Radio and hear those nasally lisping ivy league ever-yuppie yids spend an entire news analysis program talking about the car bomb suspect as if it was another 9-11 and as if Muslims with bombs are something anyone really has to worry about in the United States ~ they gave only a few lines during the entire news broadcast about this economic and ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that is so clearly a profit proposition for the Rothschilds who own a controlling share of the BP stock.
For example read the following story by Juliet Eliperin for the Washington Post. Note how after telling readers that BP got a categorical exclusion from the rules of the National Environmental Policy Act just eleven days before the leak was announced ~ Eilperin gives her own editorializing spin:
The decision by the agency to give BP the exemption and BP's lobbying effort for even more exclusion 11 days before the gush "show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf." Is that how you earn the big bucks in journalism at the Washington Post?
In my opinion, the very fact of BP asking for an exemption is exactly what one would do if one were confidently anticipating such an event ~ something like Silverstein increasing his terrorism insurance on the WTC just before 9-11. And this fits a pattern with Rothschild controlled BP (see the article by Craig Welch from yesterday's Seattle Times) linked below.
Certainly maximum exemptions would be sought before BP leased from Deepwater Horizon, not after. No transaction is conducted without knowing the legal environment and without first securing the best regulatory break. How can Eilperin imagine that BP would ask for suspension of the rules because they thought it was safe?
The fact is that Rothschilds already knew they had a cap on damages in the event of a major spill.
They also knew that if there was a disaster
they (Rothschild, not BP)
would be making even more money
on lending money
to governments and corporations for the cleanup.
I also see in Eilperin's article an effort to justify shutting down all off-shore drilling ~ another Rothschild-Rockefeller step to curtail oil production to raise prices and weaken the US public vis a vis the Empire that will be in a very few years be policed by well-controlled totalitarian-state potty-trained Chinese military might ~ the deal is the same all over the world: serve the Rothschilds or starve in the slums like everyone else who is not useful to them.
And yes, there appear to be operatives attempting to modify public reaction to the manmade disaster in the Gush of Mexico. For example, Andy Borowitz circulated an article "Goldman Sachs shorted the Gulf" ~ the classic case of planting a false story on the internet that people will pass around which then, when revealed to be "humor" can then be leveraged to lower the credibility of the real evidence of wrongdoing by Rothschild controlled corporations, government and media.
"Want to kill the truth?
Turn it into a joke
before people get a chance to evaluate it."
Read Eilperin's article below ~ no one can accuse her of being a conspiracy theorist. Other articles follow from journalists of a different stripe. (She also writes in favor of restoring large parts of America to wilderness. Her interviews are featured on the PEW Environment Group whose motto is "leave it wild" www.leaveitwild.org which is all about keeping American land out of the hands of American people, just as they keep capital and every other resource out of our hands.
For them to be an aristocracy they must render us inferior through economic deprivation and social regulation, they certainly can't get ahead of us in open competition to provide service or be productive.
Heck, we have the populist and social credit plans to end this depression around the world in a matter of months ~ if only the Juliet Eilperins of the world weren't dominating your thinking.
I suppose I am alone in thinking that shutting down all offshore oil rigs is exactly the wrong solution to this problem.
If the Rothschilds are made fully accountable for this
~ because it is a crime
and not an accident ~
then we will not see any more such accidents occurring.
Unfortunately we have gotten to the point where the Rothschilds don't have to care what regulators of any country like or don't like. They are just too powerful to have to bother with the concerns of representatives of the people.
PLEASE enlarge this thumb to get an idea of just what the plans are for the future of America, according to the UN.
U.S. EXEMPTED BP'S GULF OF MEXICO
DRILLING FROM ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
May 5, 2010
The Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.
The decision by the department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 ~ and BP's lobbying efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions ~ show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.
Rethinking the rules
Now environmentalists and some key senators are calling for a reassessment of safety requirements for offshore drilling. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who has supported offshore oil drilling in the past, said, "I suspect you're going to see an entirely different regime once people have a chance to sit back and take a look at how do we anticipate and clean up these potential environmental consequences" from drilling.
BP spokesman Toby Odone said the company's appeal for NEPA waivers in the past "was based on the spill and incident-response history in the Gulf of Mexico." Once the various investigations of the new spill have been completed, he added, "The causes of this incident can be applied to determine any changes in the regulatory regime that are required to protect the environment."
"I'm of the opinion that boosterism breeds complacency and complacency breeds disaster," said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) on Tuesday. "That, in my opinion, is what happened."
Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said it is important to learn the cause of the accident before pursuing a major policy change. "While the conversation has shifted, the energy reality has not," Gerard said. "The American economy still relies on oil and gas."
While the MMS assessed the environmental impact of drilling in the central and western Gulf of Mexico on three occasions in 2007 ~ including a specific evaluation of BP's Lease 206 at Deepwater Horizon ~ in each case it played down the prospect of a major blowout.
In one assessment, the agency estimated that "a large oil spill" from a platform would not exceed a total of 1,500 barrels and that a "Deepwater spill," occurring "offshore of the inner Continental shelf," would not reach the coast.
In another assessment, it defined the most likely large spill as totaling 4,600 barrels and forecast that it would largely dissipate within 10 days and would be unlikely to make landfall.
"They never did an analysis that took into account what turns out to be the very real possibility of a serious spill," said Holly Doremus, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley who has reviewed the documents.The MMS mandates that companies drilling in some areas identify under NEPA what could reduce a project's environmental impact. But Interior Department spokesman Matt Lee-Ashley said the service grants between 250 and 400 waivers a year for Gulf of Mexico projects.
He added that Interior has now established the "first ever" board to examine safety procedures for offshore drilling. It will report back within 30 days on BP's oil spill and will conduct "a broader review of safety issues," Lee-Ashley said.
BP's exploration plan for Lease 206, which calls the prospect of an oil spill "unlikely," stated that "no mitigation measures other than those required by regulation and BP policy will be employed to avoid, diminish or eliminate potential impacts on environmental resources."
While the plan included a 13-page environmental impact analysis, it minimized the prospect of any serious damage associated with a spill, saying there would be only "sub-lethal" effects on fish and marine mammals, and "birds could become oiled. However it is unlikely that an accidental oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."
Kierán Suckling, executive director of the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity, said the federal waiver "put BP entirely in control" of the way it conducted its drilling.
At risk: Nesting season for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle who breed in this area, runs until mid-July; most of that time they will remain off Padre Island, where there is currently no oil. However, when the hatchlings go off to sea, floating on currents in the gulf or on seaweed patches that could be covered by crude.
AGENCY A 'RUBBER STAMP'
"The agency's oversight role has devolved to little more than rubber-stamping British Petroleum's self-serving drilling plans," Suckling said. BP has lobbied the White House Council on Environmental Quality ~ which provides NEPA guidance for all federal agencies ~ to provide categorical exemptions more often. In an April 9 letter, BP America's senior federal affairs director, Margaret D. Laney, wrote to the council that such exemptions should be used in situations where environmental damage is likely to be "minimal or non-existent." An expansion in these waivers would help "avoid unnecessary paperwork and time delays," she added.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill were talking Tuesday about curtailing offshore oil exploration rather than making it easier. In addition to traditional foes of offshore drilling such as Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez (N.J.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.), Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and centrists such as Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) said they are taking a second look at such methods.
"It's time to push the pause button," Baucus told reporters.
HERE'S THE REAL RECORD
AND BEHAVIOR OF BRITISH PETROLEUM
Ask yourself what kind of journalist of "environmental issues" Juliet Eilperin is that she didn't see fit to mention any of this in her article about BP "not anticipating" any problems?
What of her pushing of the Rockefeller goal
of shutting down oil production
which is done, not for the bogus reason
of the alleged threat of global warming,
but for the very old and established reason
of restricting supply
to gain monopoly profit
at the expense of the world's energy consumers.
BP'S TROUBLING HISTORY
By Craig Welch
May 6, 2010
The British oil company BP produced the largest oil spill ever on Alaska's North Slope, faced criminal charges for intentionally dumping hazardous waste near Prudhoe Bay and was excoriated by Congress for a string of oil pipeline leaks on the tundra.
Members of Congress ~ Republicans and Democrats alike ~ have accused the company of everything from profiteering at the expense of employee safety to pressuring government contractors to whitewash draft reports that criticized its upkeep of worn-out Alaskan oil pipelines.
Rep. Joe Bardon, R-Texas, told BP executives during a heated September 2006 hearing.
"BP's policies are as rusty as its pipelines,"
"I'm even more concerned about BP's corporate culture of seeming indifference to safety and environmental issues. And this comes from a company that prides itself in their ads on protecting the environment.
The corporation at the heart of the current Gulf of Mexico oil-drilling disaster is by far the most important oil company in Alaska. But even before BP contractor's oil rig exploded in the Gulf last month, BP had struggled with perhaps the oil industry's worst environmental and safety record of the last decade.
BP Alaska spokesman Steve Rinehart declined to answer questions about the company's track record, saying only, "We are a responsible, professional operator. We work to high standards. Safety is our highest priority."
What standards do you consider LOW?
BP runs oil production on the North Slope for itself and a handful of other companies. It operates two offshore drilling operations from man made islands in the Beaufort Sea. And it has approval this year to drill a record-setting eight miles into the Arctic Ocean to tap a new reservoir.
But its accidents and scandals ranged from a refinery explosion that killed 15 people in Texas City in 2005 to a 212,000 gallon oil spill in Alaska from corroded pipeline that had not been thoroughly inspected in years. Both came in a five-year period during which BP earned $70 billion in profit.
The problems prompted congressional hearings, leadership shake-ups and unprecedented civil and criminal penalties that reached into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Shrugged off as “the cost of doing business”?
In 2007, the new chief executive of BP America told Congress his company was turning over a new leaf.
But BP's troubles didn't end there.
Earlier this year, two congressmen wrote the head of BP Alaska, arguing that four incidents in 2008 and 2009 suggested BP still ran a dangerous operation on the North Slope. In one case a high-pressure gasoline pipeline blew apart, while another backed up, according to a letter first unearthed by the website Propublica.com.
Meanwhile, state and federal investigators are still looking into a North Slope spill of 46,000 gallons that occurred in November 2009. At the time BP was still on probation stemming from a previous criminal conviction for environmental safety problems.
"Something caused the line to just burst,” said Betty Schorr, program manager with Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Could Ms.Schorr be any less vague? Those are empty words to soothe the listener masking a deadly combination of incompetence, carelessness, and indifference. It must be those professional standards hinted at previously.
TV ads to boost company image
Certainly BP has long been image-conscious. The company has spent millions running TV ads highlighting its efforts to move "beyond petroleum," and its executives have generally been obsequious with public officials. Regulators who spent countless hours in meetings with BP officials during the mid-2000's said the company appeared sincere about doing things right ~ even in the middle of battles.
"They were professional, responsible, but that doesn't mean there weren't serious disagreements," said Michelle Brown, former head of Alaska's DEC.
In many cases, these people probably were sincere. To pull off scams of this magnitude, it is integral that the patsies be convincing representatives to sell the misrepresentations to the public. Therefore every one is treated differently so that they would argue with true sincerity, not knowing what the agenda has already been more or less set despite their efforts.
Jim Ayers, former chief of staff to ex-Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, said, "BP's character has been 'We want to be good citizens.' They just don't always hold themselves accountable, particularly when they have partners they can share responsibility with ~ or blame."
As is the case in the Gulf, it was a BP contractor that first got the company in trouble in Alaska. A whistle blower revealed that throughout the mid-1990s the contractor had injected toxic waste into the wells at its drill site on Endicott Island off Prudhoe Bay rather than ship it off the North Slope.
In 2000, BP paid a $22 million fine, pleaded guilty to a criminal charge and agreed to five years of probation. The company said it had not known about the dumping until the whistle-blower came forward.
Then in March 2006, a major oil leak soiled the tundra from a corroded pipeline. BP promised it had the situation under control, but that August a second leak appeared, requiring an oil shutdown at Prudhoe Bay.
Congressional investigators learned that the crews on other major pipelines regularly sent inspection "pigs" through the lines to seek out wear and tear, but that BP had not done so since 1998.
A federal grand jury subpoenaed records from a Seattle engineering firm that had been hired by Alaska to evaluate BP's pipeline maintenance record. A draft report had been critical of BP, but the final version was largely complimentary. The draft was discovered during the grand jury's investigation.
Both the engineering firm and BP maintained that no one was pressured to change the report, but coming on the heels of the Texas City refinery explosion, members of Congress were livid. Several called it a cover-up.
“They (BP) decided to quash that information from the public," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Brainbridge Island. He called it "a conscious willful decision by the particular corporation involved here."
"By 2007, BP faced to more criminal charges and much greater scrutiny as a result of the pipeline leaks and Texas explosion. Last year the state of Alaska sued BP, demanding millions of dollars as reimbursement for the oil revenue it lost while BP was not in production.
What of the cost to the local flora and fauna? These are the ultimate victims here.
GULF OIL COVERING
WILL CAUSE SUPER HEATING
OF THE GULF, SEA AND LAND.
GULF OF MEXICO WILL SUPERHEAT
~ OTHER WINDS FROM THE EAST
At present, and as far as we know, somewhere between 300,000 and 1.2 million gallons of oil are erupting EACH DAY from the floor of the Gulf.
THE FLOW INCREASES BY THE HOUR
AS THE BORE HOLE IS SCOURED
BY SUPERHEATED OIL
FROM THE GREAT OIL DOME
BENEATH THE SEA.
If the growth of the flow is exponential as is the enlarging diameter of the bore hole, the rate of eruption will increase. But no one knows exactly how much. Experts can only tell us what they know because of their experience.
But this event is found nowhere in the memory of the experts.
Nothing like this has ever happened.
And why spend capital creating safeguards against our mistakes?
Nobody knows how much oil will erupt forth from the oil dome!
We know neither the rate of erosion nor the forces beneath the earth.
Today the surface area of the oil is 15,000 Square Miles. It is growing at an unknown rate, which is again variable to the amount of oil reaching the surface. As the eruption continues, the outer edge of the growing floating sea of oil collects debris and the oil becomes thick and sticky.
The outer edge create resistance until huge walls of oil tar, several feet thick will eventually hit the shore. Remember, we still have a river of oil erupting into the ocean all the time!
A conservative estimate of where we will be in just 30 days would be that the oil on the surface will cover roughly 1/3 of the surface of the Gulf. With the hot summer Gulf, superheated by the covering of oil, water temperature will begin to rise. By September the Gulf of Mexico will be far hotter than anyone could have imagined. No one knows what might happen because nowhere in history has the Gulf of Mexico been covered in oil!!!
One result of this may be that the hurricanes of September 2010 will be higher and greater than any known hurricane in history, starting from the South Atlantic and fed by warm surface temperatures.
TransOcean was shorted on the market before the Gush
It turns out that Goldman Sachs really did place shorts on TransOcean stock days before the explosions rocked the rig in the Gulf of Mexico sending stocks plunging while GS profits soared ~ benefiting once again from a huge disaster, having done the same with airline stocks prior to 911 and then again with the housing bubble.
Not being aware that the author, Andy Borowitz, is a comedian, scores of Internet sites ran with the story as being genuine. As of today, Google search on
Christopher Rudy noted:
The news about Goldman's bet against the Gulf comes on the heels of embarrassing revelations that the firm had taken a short position on the housing bubble, profiting from economic collapse, followed by more billions in government bailout support that paid out a couple billion in bonuses to thousands of loyal Goldman "officers" (corporate stakeholders).We shouldn't be surprised. The owners of Goldman Sachs are the same Rothchilds co-owners of the privately held Federal Reserve Banking System, and they know how to play this game. Watch how Congress capitulates to Wall Street losses that the lap-dog press attributes to "bankster bashing".
Goldman Sachs just settled with the SEC for $450,000 (one guy's salary for a month; or the price of one nicer home lost, among millions due to the collapse) as punishment for shorting the mortgage balloon. They made billions in the crime.
StreetInsider.com reported on April 30 in their "Top 10" recap for that week:
Shares of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) fell about 7% this week as execs were grilled on Capitol Hill and then, later in the week, the SEC referred its fraud case against the firm to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. While much of Wall Street cheered Lloyd Blankfein's snappy responses to an onslaught of questions, Main Street rejoiced as Carl Levin "stumped" other execs with "meaningful" interrogation tactics aimed at exposing the corruption within the US financial industry.
You can certainly see why people would be quick to believe the comedian's satire piece about Goldman Sach's shorting the Gulf of Mexico.
However, just because his piece was satire, doesn't mean there isn't something to it. The reason humor is funny is because it lampoons reality, providing an exaggerative and simplified caricature to bring out the key issues in a non-threatening way. Historically, especially in times of heavy oppression, the best truth tellers have been the comedians. Benjamin Franklin certainly used humor to his advantage in helping to win America's Independence.
The late Bill Hicks and George Carlin were absolute masters of this art.
A. T. Ott, PhD.., wrote the following to me last night:
I have confirmed that there were indeed numerous "shorts" placed on TransOcean stock just days before the "problem". Was it Goldman Sachs? That is yet to be conclusively determined (there is indeed a SEC investigation ongoing) ~ but labeling something as "satire" is a lawyer's shrewd trick to keep from being sued for slander ~ even if it is all true. Moreover, there were massive shorts placed literally seconds after the news hit the airwaves.
Who would dare to quote the actual e-mails from "Fabulous Fab", unless the writer would post them as a "satire" ~ especially after what happened to the Wall Street Journal writers who dared expose the 9-11 short sales involving Goldman Sachs. (They were assigned to Afghanistan, and had fatal "accidents" there.)
Dr. Ott has subsequently confirmed from two sources that Goldman Sachs was indeed in on the shorts being placed on TransOcean stock.
(See Email from Don Nicoloff documenting Goldman Sachs short puts on TransOcean stock.) And he has confirmed that the comedian Borowitz was aware of that as well.
Dr. Ott had me and Paul Noel on his two-hour radio show yesterday talking about the viral article we posted, "Mother of All Gushers Could Kill Earth's Oceans".
In response to the alleged Goldman Sach's shorting story, Paul, who is an expert on the Gulf Oil subject, provided the following intelligence:
There is a reason they could have known the rig was going to fail up to two weeks ahead of its failure. The nature of these wells is that they leave the drill mud in the well and compress using very heavy drill mud to keep the well from blowing up unlimited. The well would begin to bump (similar to boiling a big bubble) and the acoustic signals would tell the rig was in trouble that far ahead. Goldman Sacks could just have had inside info. They also know the scale of things. This is the best explanation. It could be otherwise.
If you were going to sabotage a drilling team, all you would have to do is load a lighter mud in the mix as they pulled a drill pipe. .... There are lots of ways to have this happen either accidentally or deliberately. Goldman teams are great on statistical stuff sort of like the odds of rolling dice. They might just have figured stats for probability of a failure? Of course we could surmise other reasons are possible.
DON'T IGNORE BRITISH PETROLEUM'S
ABSURDLY BIG PERVERSE INCENTIVES
TO DRAG THEIR FEET
Open your eyes to perverse moral hazard of Gulf oil disaster incentives.
BP owners are enjoying
the "disaster Cleanup" bonanza
~ a Halliburton specialty.
BP owners and Halliburton owners are tied together in this disaster ~ both are big winners from this event.
British Petroleum is owned
by Rothschild and their allies
"the Rothschild Interests."
Damages BP must pay are capped. In addition to BP being a limited liability corporation where owners are only exposed to liability up to the amount of stock owned, BP enjoys total immunity to paying damages because of a cap on oil company liability.
This cap has already been exceeded by the damages done to nations whose national waters are affected by the offshore well break.
Also, "instead of damages"
it's only "cleanup"
that is being discussed
in the Rothschild-interests owned media.
NOW WE GET TO THE CORE OF THE MATTER!
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Simply because once the small cap on damage liability has been exceeded BP does not have to pay out any more and the cost of "cleanup" and the "sucking up" of damages falls to governments and the victims of the disaster.
These "people" will then
require loans to do the work.
The loans come from the owners of BP
who are the "Rothschild Interests"
and the contract for cleanup
will go to Halliburton.
And we must also realize that the investors with the best analytical resources for knowing how to profit from this shock to so many markets are also the Rothschild interests.
Right now the Rothschilds have
big incentive to go slow on capping the well,
even to deliberately fail
in attempts to close the breaches.
They are in the cleanup business.
They have already "paid their deductable."
And the rest of us must now take on
the expense by going deeper into debt to them.
You will notice that no government has dared to step in and nationalize the effort to fix the leak ~ that is to draft BP and use its resources to stop the leak as fast as possible paying it ~ since the corporation is just a "person" like the rest of i
(Warren G. Harding first got the notion of drafting corporations if they dared to start another war ~ the same, I think, should apply to the "natural" disaster racket.
Don't expect to hear any more about this
~ unless you yourself take up the issue.
I know in advance I might as well be talking to a brick wall.
Do you, readers, think this writer is an out-to-lunch conspiracy theorist? Does he maybe have something there? Or do you think he is making a LOT of valid points that deserve serious consideration? Personally, I cannot help but think this is SO FAR OUT that it is more than completely conceivable!
It is a known fact that these people believe that the more outrageous and unbelievable their actions are, the better their chances of pulling it off; they are complacent in the knowledge that no one will believe anyone who figures it out. And, even if someone did speak out, they have many ways of effectively silencing them.
So yes, I tend to put credence in this analysis but we will most likely never learn the truth of the matter.
Today whether it is Oil or Greece ~ the same bad apples are forcing everyone else to pay for the disaster they created and that they (the Rothschilds) should be paying 100 percent expenses for "cleaning up" and further damages compensation.
Every man is responsible to every other man
"A MAGNITUDE W0RSE THAN
THE ESTIMATED 5,000 BARRELS PER DAY
~ REVISED T0 50,000 BARRELS PER DAY
WHICH IS 2.1 MILLI0N GALL0NS PER DAY!"
Leaked Report: Deepwater Horizon well could become unchecked gusher
HALLIBURTON BUYS OIL FIRE FIGHTING COMPANY
Halliburton Inc. says it finished a cementing operation 20 hours before a Gulf of Mexico rig went up in flames.
Although no cause has been determined, oil services contractor Halliburton Inc. says it finished a cementing operation 20 hours before the Gulf of Mexico rig went up in flames.
Halliburton is named as a defendant in most of the more than two dozen lawsuits filed by Gulf Coast people and businesses claiming the oil spill could ruin them financially. In one lawsuit, two Louisiana shrimpers claim cementing contributed to the explosion.
Halliburton said Friday it had four workers stationed on the rig, performing several tasks, including cementing ~ a process of applying cement and water to a pipe used to prevent the wall of the hole from caving in during drilling.
According to a 2007 study by Minerals Management Service, cementing was a factor 18 of 39 rig blowouts in the gulf between 1992 and 2006.
Halliburton buys Oil Fire Fighting Company on April 12th for $240 Million
In 1978, Edward "Coots" Matthews and Asger "Boots" Hansen founded Boots & Coots (WEL). Both were veteran oil-well firefighters. In fact, they provided inspiration for a 1968 film called Hellfighters, starring John Wayne.
But the days of independence have come to an end for Boots & Coots as the company has agreed to sell out to Halliburton (HAL) for $240.4 million. Shareholders will get $1.73 in cash and $1.27 in Halliburton stock for every share of Boots & Coots.
The company certainly has a distinguished history. It has been critical in dealing with many well fires, including those from Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. But given its relatively small size, Boots & Coots has been at a disadvantage. As a result, the stock price has been mostly lackluster over the years.
A PERILOUS BUSINESS
Boots & Coots has two core businesses. First, there is Pressure Control, which involves prevention and risk-control services for oil- and gas-well fires and blowouts. A key to this area was the acquisition of John Wright, which developed sophisticated technologies to measure well integrity.
Next, Boots & Coots has a Well Intervention division, which helps enhance production for oil and gas operators. This business is likely to benefit nicely from the trend toward unconventional resource plays (such as extracting energy from shale). Boots & Coots greatly expanded this division with the acquisitions of Oil States International and StassCo.
Despite all this, the company is still at the whim of volatile energy markets, as well as unpredictable government-owned oil companies. For example, last year Boots & Coots saw a 7% fall in revenues to $195.1 million, with net income down from $21.8 million to $6 million. Keep in mind that during this period, there was nearly a 50% drop in domestic rig counts.
But as part of Halliburton, Boots & Coots will have more leverage to expand its platform, especially in areas like Africa and even Southeast Asia, which should provide significant growth opportunities.
FEELING LEFT OUT?
According to its latest earnings report, Halliburton is upbeat about the prospects for 2010. Actually, it looks like there will be a rebound in North America because of increased demand and rig counts. At the same time, it appears that Halliburton is gaining more market share from its struggling rivals.
But when it comes to M&A, Halliburton has been timid. Just look at Schlumberger (SLB), which recently agreed to shell out $11 billion for Smith International (SII) and $1.07 billion for Geoservices. Of course, there is also the $5.5 billion merger of Baker Hughes (BHI) and BJ Services (BJ).
So, will Halliburton try for a major deal, too? Perhaps. The company has $3.4 billion in the bank and easy access to financing. Yet, the oil services industry has undergone lots of consolidation, and few major targets are left. And a deal could ultimately suffer from antitrust pressure.
In other words, Halliburton may focus its deal making on small companies that fill out niches, like
According to Transocean Ltd., the operator of the drilling rig, Halliburton had finished cementing the 18,000-foot well shortly before the explosion.
An oil-drilling procedure called cementing is coming under scrutiny as a possible cause of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that has led to one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history, drilling experts said Thursday.
The process is supposed to prevent oil and natural gas from escaping by filling gaps between the outside of the well pipe and the inside of the hole bored into the ocean floor. Cement, pumped down the well from the drilling rig, is also used to plug wells after they have been abandoned or when drilling has finished but production hasn't begun.
In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, workers had finished pumping cement to fill the space between the pipe and the sides of the hole and had begun temporarily plugging the well with cement; it isn't known whether they had completed the plugging process before the blast.
Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force. When cement develops cracks or doesn't set properly, oil and gas can escape, ultimately flowing out of control. The gas is highly combustible and prone to ignite, as it appears to have done aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which was leased by BP PLC, the British oil giant.
Concerns about the cementing process ~ and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts ~ raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.
The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.
Federal officials declined to comment on their investigation, and Halliburton didn't respond to questions from The Wall Street Journal.
According to Transocean Ltd., the operator of the drilling rig, Halliburton had finished cementing the 18,000-foot well shortly before the explosion. Houston-based Halliburton is the largest company in the global cementing business, which accounted for $1.7 billion, or about 11%, of the company's revenue in 2009, according to consultant Spears & Associates.
Growing worries about potential lawsuits and other costs of the oil spill in the wake of its rapid spread led investors to clobber stocks of companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon well Thursday.
Halliburton fell 5.3% to $31.60 and Cameron International Corp., which built the blowout-prevention equipment that didn't stop the explosion, dropped 13% to $38.70, both at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
The timing of the cementing in relation to the blast ~ and the procedure's history of causing problems ~ point to it as a possible culprit in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, experts said.
"The initial likely cause of gas coming to the surface had something to do with the cement," said Robert MacKenzie, managing director of energy and natural resources at FBR Capital Markets and a former cementing engineer in the oil industry.
Several other drilling experts agreed, though they cautioned that the investigation into what went wrong at the Deepwater Horizon site is still in its preliminary stages.
The problem could have been a faulty cement plug at the bottom of the well, he said.
Another possibility would be that cement between the pipe and well walls didn't harden properly and allowed gas to pass through it.
A 2007 study by three U.S. Minerals Management Service officials found that cementing was a factor in 18 of 39 well blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico over a 14-year period. That was the single largest factor, ahead of equipment failure and pipe failure.
The Halliburton cementers would have sought approval for their plans ~ the type of cement and how much would be used ~ from a BP official on board the rig before carrying out their job. Scott Dean, a BP spokesman, said it was premature to speculate on the role cement might have played in the disaster.
Halliburton also was the cementer on a well that suffered a big blowout last August in the Timor Sea, off Australia. The rig there caught fire and a well leaked tens of thousands of barrels of oil over 10 weeks before it was shut down. The investigation is continuing; Halliburton declined to comment on it.
Elmer P. Danenberger, who had recently retired as head of regulatory affairs for the U.S. Minerals Management Service, told the Australian commission looking into the blowout that a poor cement job was probably the reason oil and natural gas gushed out of control.
Comment by KLC on May 1, 2010
I agree Diana. Something is definitely fishy about this whole story!!!! Last night someone posted an article that North Korea may be to blame for this latest oil rig explosion because of South Korea's involvement with it (and their friendship with USA) so who knows what the heck is going on anymore.
I can also totally see Obama's team false flagging this oil explosion just to create that "destructive to the environment" propaganda!"
Thanks for replying!
Comment by Diana on May 1, 2010
I remember about a month ago when Obama announced he would approve offshore drilling and wondering what the back story was to that seemingly incongruent statement. Now it all makes sense. With the great oil spill in the Gulf, he can now say, “Gee, I really wanted to, but you can see that such a thing is just too dangerous, too destructive to the environment.”
It took me a long, long, long, long time to come to the conclusion that the global bankers were behind 911.
I did not want to think such a thing was possible.
But after I faced facts and came to see that this was indeed the case, I have had to reexamine many events that have transpired in the past and look skeptically at any new events.
This one smells very fishy.
Thank you for this story and I look forward to any new information that comes forward to explain what really happened.
We must expose them for the evil criminals they are!
“The first duty of a criminal is to get away with it.” ~ Anonymous
Statoil operates the most environmentally friendly offshore oil rigs in the world ~ because it's state-owned
By Joe Conason
A gas platform in the North Sea run by the Norwegian oil company Statoil.
If anyone still believes we must drill, baby, drill offshore ~ aside from Bill Kristol, that is, who wants to sink wells even closer to precious coastal wetlands ~ then perhaps it is time to consider again the potential benefits of nationalization.
After all, there is one country that has established an unrivaled record for environmental safety while exploiting its offshore petroleum reserves. That would be Norway, which created the company now known as Statoil Hydro as a fully state-owned entity and still controls nearly two-thirds of the company's "privatized" shares.
Actually there are two countries but for some reason this writer has chosen to not mention the record of Brazil.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Statoil rigs in the North Sea are required by law to maintain special "acoustic switches" that shut down operations completely (and remotely) in case of a blowout or explosion.
The US Mines and Minerals Service,
under the industry-friendly Bush administration,
decided that rigs operating in American waters
need not install those switches
because they are "very costly."
At $500,000 per switch, they now look
like an enormous bargain, of course.
Excuse me, but did not Mr. Cheney work with Bush during those terms whilst also making huge profits from Halliburton in Iraq?
Might there not be a very small chance (!) that these lapses of legality extend to this aspect of Halliburton's businesses?
What makes Norway so different from the United States ~ and much more likely to install the most protective energy technology ~ is that the Norwegian state can impose public values on oil producers without fighting off lobbyists and crooked politicians, because it owns and controls the resources.
Rather than Halliburton-style corporate management controlling the government and blocking environmental improvement, Norway's system works the other way around. It isn't perfect, as any Nordic environmentalist will ardently explain, but the results are considerably better than ours.
Just ask Freedomworks, the right-wing corporate front group chaired by former Texas Republican Rep. Dick Armey, which has underwritten the Tea Party movement. In a post advocating more offshore drilling, Freedomworks hailed the Norwegian record effusively:
Norway's oil and gas offshore operations have safely and effectively co-existed with fishing operations in the fertile North Sea since 1971. In fact, Norway is now the world's sixth largest oil producer and the tenth largest fish producer.Freedomworks hates socialism, so its promo copy doesn't mention the state ownership. But ideological concerns aside, the Norwegian oil business has earned a strong international reputation for industrial efficiency and environmentally benign exploration and production technology.
Unlike the U.S. oil giants, which feign green concern while opposing real climate reform, Statoil has worked actively to reduce its CO2 emissions since 1991, with considerable success.Again, this is a result of harmony between national policy, aiming to make Norway carbon neutral by 2030, and the state oil sector.
Rather than debate the need
for stronger environmental regulation
with powerful private interests
for the past quarter-century,
the Norwegians were able to harness
the profits of their oil resources
to improve the environment
and provide a generous social security
and universal health care system for their people.
But we know that private ownership
always works better than government.
Brazil and other countries require a special emergency shut-off mechanism on their offshore rigs. The Deepwater Horizon rig was not subject to that requirement in the United States. Now there are questions whether Halliburton may have been involved with the process that led to the rig's failure.
This shutoff mechanism, while expensive at $500 000, is in no way comparable to the billions required to clean this mess. Nor is it comparable to the almost unlimited profits raked in by the oil companies.
This raises further questions about former Vice President Dick Cheney's involvement with the deregulation that came out of the Bush Administration following Cheney's secret meetings with the energy sector.
These are questions that have been long overdue for an answer; more pressing now given the horrifying consequences of the deregulation.
Nor can we ignore the loss of life and individual livelihood ~ the impact on potentially endangered species and coastal environments ~ the ruination of industries barely on their feet following Katrina ~ another debacle of both the environment and faulty politics and engineering.
THE PROPAGANDA BEGINS TO SET US STRAIGHT ON HOW IT REALLY IS IN THE GULF.
May 20, 2010
First, at the CBS site, I found an article regarding Deepwater that is completely propaganda in favour of BP. You have to read it to believe it. BP already has their public relations in overdrive. I wonder if they paid or threatened the men who spoke.
BIG OIL, SMALL FISHING, HARMONY ON THE GULF
The Second part is a short clip from CBS in which a boat camera crew are forbidden to go near the spill by both BP people as well as the CoastGuards. Something is being held from the public eye that they do not want seen. Going by some of the statistics given on loss of sea life, perhaps this is what they are trying to hide, maybe it is something else. Draw your own conclusions. Either way, there really IS something very fishy going on!
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