BP Platform Blow-Out was covered up in Azerbaijan: Wikileaks

The Guardian reports from US State Department cables released by Wikileaks that the oil and gas giant, BP, experienced a platform disaster in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan in September, 2008, very similar to last summer’s Deep Water Horizon platform explosion. BP was reported to have covered up the details of the catastrophe even from its own partners.

If the corporation had been more public about the problem, would the US have looked more closely at the Gulf of Mexico operations and possibly forestalled the destruction of so much of the Gulf environment? Or, alternatively, why didn’t the US State Department blow the whistle itself on the platform explosion and cover-up? There has been USG collusion with BP on all sorts of levels, from coddling its safety violations, to neglecting to publicize its disasters even when private cables detailing them are being shared with Foggy Bottom.

BP has an extremely poor safety record, and is accused of having cut corners to increase profits for years at many platforms around the world.

The Guardian writes, “Other cables leaked tonight claim that the president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing $10bn of oil from his country and using “mild blackmail” to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region.”

Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Socialist Republic and now an independent state, is a Turkic-speaking republic in the Caucasus where most of the population is now secular but has a background in Shiite Islam. It was conquered from Iran by the Russian Empire in the early 19th century.

8 Responses

  1. Who needs a silly safety record when you are friends with powerful people?

  2. Following links within links takes us through the looking glass. At the same time as The Guardian was publishing cables relating to BP’s unconscionable behavior in Azerbaijan, The Telegraph was reporting on leaked cables in which the Swedish Justice Minister told the US it had to keep its intelligence sharing arrangement with America informal ‘lest it have to be revealed to Parliament.

    The cables reported on by The Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8202745/WikiLeaks-Swedish-government-hid-anti-terror-operations-with-America-from-Parliament.html) goes a long way in explaining why Sweden is acting as Washington’s lap dog in trying to keep Julian Assange in jail. “The cable claimed that the ‘current Swedish political climate makes any formal terrorist screening information agreement highly difficult.'”

    I’ll bet!

    So much for Sweden’s so-called “neutrality.” As I write this, the British court hearing into Sweden’s petition is about to begin. I hope the judge hearing the appeal read The Telegraph, which throwns both a bright light and serious questions on Sweden’s real interest in this case.

  3. just typical of the government to cover stuff like this up! nothing new there!

  4. Some of the things that Alex Jones says seem a little far-fetched to me, but recently he’s been on about BP’s intentions to ruin the Gulf environment in order to have the entire area declared unfit for habitation so that it can then swoop in and buy up all the land at extremely low prices so it can then develop the land for refineries and other oil-related uses. This way they can avoid the usual hassles from environmental groups, governments, and citizens concerned about what’s going on in their back yards. We all know that megacorporations like BP can afford to do business as they see fit; they can cause as much environmental damage as possible and still rake in more profit than they would pay out for fines or cleanup. If the area of the Caspian is as rich as the Gulf then maybe Alex is onto something.

  5. As the USA slid into national serfdom (and groveling servitude) to the large corporations and other sources of great wealth (and not merely oil companies), it voluntarily gave up any sort of responsible stewardship for the environment, human rights, fair economic rules, etc. In short, it gave up on an active and involved and thoughtful concern for the good of the people of the USA and of the world. Perhaps a great benefit of WikiLeaks is that bit points this up.

  6. British Petroleum follows a different procedure than other deep water drillers, such as Shell, who grout the annular space between the well casing and bore hole in steps as they proceed. Thus, there never is a situation where the entire borehole could become a conduit for escaping fluids, and there is no possibility for a rupture in the casing to allow methane or crude to follow this path to the surface. The emergency shut off valve, which notoriously underperformed in the recent incident, is less critical and serves more of a control function than a fail-safe function.

    BP’s failure was less an accident than it was an event with a slight chance of occurring in each well.

    In other news …. I like your new website.

  7. Welcome to the New World Order.
    Rotten and corrupt to the core.
    They’ll be their own undoing, but in the meantime, they’ll take a lot of inocent people down with them.

  8. I find it interesting that the New York Times about a week ago stopped publishing stories based on the Wikileaks. They stopped cold turkey after the gas bags in Congress started making threatening noises. The New York Times has become a shriveled up caricature of the great journalistic institution it once was.
    Thankfully we still have the British papers and blogs like this one that can run with stories as important as the BP story unquestionably is while The New York Times can go right along safely publishing the official government line.

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