Ken Salazar awards one deep water drilling permit … to BP?

posted at 7:56 pm on March 3, 2011 by Bruce McQuain

And here I though BP was the problem. So the company who had the dysfunctional equipment that was the cause of the Deepwater Horizon blowout is an almost half owner in the Santiago well?  Yes, according to AP :

BP Plc, whose Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history last year, co-owns the well that was granted the first deepwater drilling permit since the disaster.

BP is Noble Energy Inc’s partner in the well, holding a 46.5 percent interest, BP said.

Noble operates the Santiago well that received a permit from U.S. regulators on Monday to resume drilling in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf, about 70 miles (110 km) south of the Louisiana coast.

In an update AP adds that Noble runs the show and makes the drilling decisions.

Hey, if they say so — but we are talking about an almost 47% partner here.  Silent? Probably not.

“Given how the people of the Gulf view BP, this drilling partnership could be called ‘Noble meets ignoble’,” said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural resources Committee.

“While the optics of this situation contain their own special irony, the reality is that Noble Energy has met the federal government’s necessary metrics for safety and response,” Markey said.

“Irony” doesn’t begin to explain this award of a permit. “Cynical”, “calculating” and “political” all seem appropriate words to add to the mix.

We’re to believe that only BP and Noble got it right and none of the other oil companies have yet?

Probably not.   BP and others have been working jointly through their industry association (the American Petroleum Institute) to address the problem.  It strains credulity to believe that they’re the only one’s who’ve gotten in right.  This is an industry wide problem. API helps establish industry wide standards.  The granting of a drilling permit – a single drilling permit – seems more of a cynical and calculated political attempt to relieve pressure on the administration in general and Salazar in particular, as he headed to the Hill to give testimony while gasoline prices head up.

Michael Bromwich, who heads the offshore drilling regulating agency, insisted on on Monday there were “no politics involved” in approving the permit.

Riiiight. Of course there weren’t.

But the irony, regardless, is still inescapable.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Comments

Wow, it’s almost like BP’s huge contributions to Obama bought them something.

tetriskid on March 3, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Salazar has a dark sense of humor, apparently.

Either that or Obama cronyism far outweighs both good sense and good political optics.

teke184 on March 3, 2011 at 7:57 PM

BP knew what it had to do when Obama extorted millions from it last year.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 3, 2011 at 7:58 PM

The boobs over at FireDogLake are NOT going to take this well.

Bishop on March 3, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Obama awards a drilling permit to BP hoping that BP makes the same mistakes a second time.

It’s for spite, you want drilling permits, ok we’ll permit the one company that made the mess the last time to make another one and see how you like it.

Skandia Recluse on March 3, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Obama! THEE most unAmerican president.

capejasmine on March 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Hey now. You were all complaining about not drilling and now there is a possibilty for it to flow again.

Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

upinak on March 3, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Proof Obama doesnt talk to his cabinet members as its been hinted… at least his official cabinet members.

I actually give Salazar credit. It wasnt a political move. It would have been cheap to deny BP for image reasons.

swamp_yankee on March 3, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Tinfoil hat time?

Inside job?

BowHuntingTexas on March 3, 2011 at 8:08 PM

BP will have input, but Noble will call the shots.

MikeHu on March 3, 2011 at 8:08 PM

OT……..

Laura Ingraham just gave a shout out to HotAir and the good job done analyzing the fake Wisconsin polls on BOR!

Knucklehead on March 3, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Perhaps most of this oil will go to China if all goes as planned./

dragondrop on March 3, 2011 at 8:08 PM

OT: Laura Ingraham on O’Reilly just gave props to Hot Air for analyzing the polls on public employee unions.

John the Libertarian on March 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Darn you Knuckle!

John the Libertarian on March 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM

A 20 billion escrow account goes along ways these days.

Koa on March 3, 2011 at 8:10 PM

This is a golden issue for Sarah. Not many people know that she took BP to the woodshed. it’s the pozter child for crony capitalism. it’s her turn to do the battle against BP corruption at the national level.

promachus on March 3, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Darn you Knuckle!

John the Libertarian on March 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Great minds or two idiots who still watch BOR? LOL!

Knucklehead on March 3, 2011 at 8:12 PM

upinak on March 3, 2011 at 8:03 PM

But the opening up of permits should happen in a an open. transparent manner. The Obama admin cannot hold up permits for every other company and then issue just ONE permit to BP. That’s crony capitalism at its best.

promachus on March 3, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Noble Energy Inc.
*****************

Deepwater Gulf of Mexico(Map)

http://www.nobleenergyinc.com/Operations/Deepwater-Gulf-of-Mexico-119.html
==================

News Releases
**************

http://investors.nobleenergyinc.com/releases.cfm

February 28, 2011

Noble Energy Receives Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Drilling Permit
———-

HOUSTON, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announced today that it has received an approved permit to resume drilling at the Santiago prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Well operations were suspended in June 2010 as a result of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium. Santiago is a middle Miocene amplitude prospect on Mississippi Canyon Block 519. Noble Energy is the operator with a 23.25 percent working interest.

Located in 6,500 feet of water, the Santiago exploration well had previously drilled to a depth of 13,585 feet at the time of the moratorium. Drilling operations are anticipated to resume in late March 2011, targeting total drilling depth of approximately 19,000 feet. Results are expected by the end of May 2011. The Ensco 8501 rig, which performed completion operations on the Santa Cruz and Isabela discoveries at the Galapagos project during the second half of 2010, will perform the drilling at Santiago.
(more…)

http://investors.nobleenergyinc.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=553279

canopfor on March 3, 2011 at 8:15 PM

The new government regulations for deepwater drilling require an oil company to prove it can handle a well blowout, so it’s not surprising that BP is the first to demonstrate that capability. After all they are the only ones with real experience handling an event like that, and they are the owners of all of the equipment and methods used to seal the Macondo well. Still ironic I guess…

fed-nad on March 3, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Salazar is in way over his head.

But then it’s probably because of where his head is in the first place.

Exit Question: How does he breathe?

GarandFan on March 3, 2011 at 8:25 PM

So,Santiago Well,will be deeper than,Macondo Well 252!
——————————————-

At 6,500 feet (1,980 meters) below the surface, Noble’s well is deeper than BP’s blown out Macondo well. In a worst-case scenario, the company told regulators its well could spill nearly 3 million gallons (11.36 million liters) of oil per day into the Gulf. At its peak, the BP well spilled 2.6 million gallons (9.84 million liters) per day.

Noble had drilled to a depth of 13,585 feet (4,140 meters) before the moratorium and has about 5,400 feet (1,645 meters) to go.
(more….)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41838439/ns/us_news-environment/

canopfor on March 3, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Just when I think I’ve seen it all and nothing else will phase me, I am proven wrong.

mizflame98 on March 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Are you KIDDING me? BP should never be allowed to be business here again. They cut corners in the Gulf which lead to workers dying and ravaged the Gulf Coast with oil spills and they played a part in the Lockerbie Bombers release, they should be done.

Where are the Haliburton paranoid liberals on this one? What about the other oil companies, they should raise a huge stink about this.

I never trusted BP since their “Beyond Pertroleum” green peace-esque ad campaign from a few years ago. This is infuriating.

Daemonocracy on March 3, 2011 at 8:48 PM

fed-nad on March 3, 2011 at 8:17 PM

So the regulations require that unless a blowout happens on a compnay’s watch, no new permits will be given to it. This is beyond a parody of Atlas Shurgged.

promachus on March 3, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Hey now. You were all complaining about not drilling and now there is a possibilty for it to flow again.

Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

upinak on March 3, 2011 at 8:03 PM

You’re joking right? Please tell me you are because aside from your defense of her porkness Murkowski, you normally make reasonable comments.

Daemonocracy on March 3, 2011 at 8:56 PM

The flip side however, is that BP will probably be (or should be) the safest most gun shy safety hypersensitive driller in the gulf coast.

Koa on March 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM

The flip side however, is that BP will probably be (or should be) the safest most gun shy safety hypersensitive driller in the gulf coast.

Koa on March 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM

You’d think that.

However, they apparently have a history of cutting corners repeatedly, even after issues elsewhere.

teke184 on March 3, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I’m hoping that Salazar is playing the conniving, back stabbing weasel. Just weeks before the presidential elections he will get drunk in a bar, and leak that Obama ordered him to issue the permit to BP.

Slowburn on March 3, 2011 at 9:22 PM

OK then, so for me its’ no GM, No Chrysler, No BP!
Ford or foreign and only American Oil Companies!

NO UNION, if I can help it!

Time to cut the corruptocrats off at the pocketbook and the knees!

Lets hope our American Reformer and Revitalizer steps up to the plate in a nice red pair of Naughty Monkeys and kicks these Jackasses to the curb and beyond.

Run Sarah Run!
Its’ gonna be fun!

dhunter on March 3, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Michael Bromwich, who heads the offshore drilling regulating agency, insisted on on Monday there were “no politics involved” in approving the permit.

And I have some beautiful beach front property for sale here in North Eastern Arizona.

chemman on March 3, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Bought and paid for.

hillbillyjim on March 3, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Considering that Noble is the company developing the gas field offshore Israel, this is irony.

ALL those leases are in the Gulf of Mexico are partnerships between different companies. This is quite common.

Kermit on March 3, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Now seriously folks, if you owned your own oil company, would you invest in the USA knowing that little Bammie and his prog knuckledraggers can shut you down at a moment’s notice, ignore court orders, and extra-legally extort your company for tens of billions of dollars?

Doesn’t practically any other country in the world look better for business?

slickwillie2001 on March 3, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Actually, here’s some interesting info from some British friends of mine I talked to.

Seems BP according to them, is no longer even truly “British” Petrol. Apparently, its now the U.S. Government Motors of the Oil industry now…

In other words… if you thought GM’s Volt is embarrassing to us… expectmore of the same. Wait until Obama applies the reverse Midas touch to Barrack Petrol

Razgriez on March 3, 2011 at 10:39 PM

In lieu of this story.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/03/gulf_oil_spill_could_have_been.html

djaymick on March 3, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Dynamite; what else can this genius screw up?

slickwillie2001 on March 3, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Wasn’t the Coast Guard’s response partly to blame for what happened at the Deepwater Horizon?

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Any other administration would have seen Ken Salazar for the complete boneheaded idiot that he is and would have fired him a long time ago.

But then again, we are talking the Obama administration here, which obviously feels this certified tool is the greatest thing since sliced bread!

pilamaye on March 4, 2011 at 5:26 AM

Another WTF moment brought to you by our sponsors.

percysunshine on March 4, 2011 at 6:30 AM

BP is among the safest operators in the Gulf of Mexico. How do I know this? I am right now on a BP platform in the Gulf. I have been working offshore for almost 20 years and have been on rigs and platforms operated by many different companies, foreign and domestic. It is amazing that we can get anything accomplished because of the safety requirements involved in any operation. We have to have a permit to work for any task, no matter how small. The task is reviewed at several levels of management complete with walk-throughs and risk assessments before approval. The Macondo #1 was a horrible tragedy; however, do not accept the official estimates of the lost oil. They are just estimates from people who really are doing nothing more than guessing. The record producing well in the Gulf was on the Troika field producing 42,000 barrels a day. We had a well with a kinked riser pipe restricting the flow and it is producing almost twice that of the record producer? Try again. Look at the amount of oil recovered by the Discoverer Enterprise from the tophat on the Macondo well (I was there). It was closer to 18,000 bpd. The Q-4000 was recovering and burning even less. The day that we set the new BOP from the DDII (I was there as well), I saw more blackfin tuna than I have ever seen at one time. Do I feel safe out here? Yes! It is a dangerous business. The risk can be minimized, reduced, but not eliminated. If industry in the United States adopted the safety standards of the petroleum industry, we would be a much safer country-period.

DAT60A3 on March 4, 2011 at 7:39 AM

BP needs to pay off the $20 Billion slush fund the Obama administration extorted from them, so this is no surprise to me.

JeffinSac on March 4, 2011 at 9:11 AM

DAT60A3 on March 4, 2011 at 7:39 AM

Good post

Koa on March 4, 2011 at 11:43 AM

A 20 billion escrow account goes along ways these days.

Koa on March 3, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Say what you want about obama, he at least stays bought!!!

runawayyyy on March 4, 2011 at 2:21 PM