Phew ! That’s a relief ! The American President Barack Obama has personally spoken to British Prime Minister David Cameron apparently to reassure him he meant no harm to the reputation of Britain by blaming BP for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill :-
I should hope not ! BP stopped being “British” Petroleum some time ago. Forty percent of BP’s business is in the United States :-
The lack of speed and poor success in trying to cap and capture the undersea gusher from the Deepwater Horizon field has been relayed to our screens and laptops and newspapers in lurid, Jacques Cousteau-like inglory.
Could this have been a cry for help from BP ? A call to the international public purse. Is BP, like the banks at the start of the economic crisis “too big to fail” ? Are BP’s inept efforts to plug the spill a deliberate display of incompetence designed to lay the foundations for putting out the begging bowl for a bailout ?
George Monbiot has theorised that BP should be putting all its profits aside for the eventual necessary decommissioning of the Fossil Fuel industry :-
I think that BP might be trying to portray “The Spill” as a justification for backing out of the Petroleum Oil extraction and refining industries (without giving up its unconventional Natural Gas activities), all the while angling for a “stimulus” to do this :-
Earlier in the year, Tony Hayward claimed that 2007 was the year for “Peak Demand” for Petroleum Oil. Quite frankly, the man was in denial, and just couldn’t bring himself to mention “Peak Oil”. He has his shareholders to reassure, after all, if he is to keep them.
The deeper and dodgier the wells, to get at increasingly dirtier crude oil, the more likely the projects are to fail. Sub-sea engineering is not proven at such depths, as the Transocean blowout and uncappable plume shows.
Good quality, easily accessible oil is running out :-
Not even the Arctic licences could resolve this problem, as all the oil in Arctic is either very complicated to get at, or the geological formations of the wells have had their tops “blown” off, by all accounts :-
Will Obama and Cameron-Clegg decide that BP needs public support to stay afloat ? So many peoples’ pensions and institutional investments are tied up in BP’s welfare.
Neither the American nor the British administrations have any spare money to play with. Are they going to conclude that BP is too big to carry ?
And will the dividend payouts be halted ?
Why is BP in such trouble ? Certainly, a fair amount of fudging about the true state of things is partly to blame. Even a fairly shallow analysis reveals disconnects in corporate thinking and action :-
We told them, but they didn’t listen.