Tony Buzbee, a lawyer representing 15 rig workers and dozens of shrimpers, seafood restaurants, and dock workers, says he has obtained a three-page signed statement from a crew member on the boat that rescued the burning rig's workers. The sailor, who Buzbee refuses to name for fear of costing him his job, was on the ship's bridge when Deepwater Horizon installation manager Jimmy Harrell, a top employee of rig owner Transocean, was speaking with someone in Houston via satellite phone. Buzbee told Mother Jones that, according to this witness account, Harrell was screaming, "Are you fucking happy? Are you fucking happy? The rig's on fire! I told you this was gonna happen."
Buzbee told Mother Jones that the sailor's version of Harrell's phone conversation following the explosion was corroborated by a statement from a second crew member who says he also overheard the call. Both statements were taken in-person by Buzbee's investigator and safety consultant, who has interviewed some 60 people involved in the disaster, and signed by the witnesses, he said. Buzbee declined to make the full statements available to Mother Jones because, he said, "it is work product, meaning that it is something that I do not have to produce or disclose in litigation but that can be used at the right time in the litigation." He added that he intends to take a deposition from the crew members at a later time.
Mother Jones Get's the Scoop
So now we have eyewitness testimony that BP was warned ahead of time of the problems and ignored them, which then caused the explosion that killed 11 people, and has caused the continued spill of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killing countless numbers of various wildlife and sea life creatures, destroying wetlands, ruining migration habitats that are nesting grounds for untold amounts of species, causing the utter destruction of the livelihoods for vast numbers of people, for many years to come. They knew the problems were there and ignored them. They knew and pushed forward anyway.
As my last post indicates, this is not a one time problem for the company named BP. This is a continued pattern of behavior that has not changed for the better, has not corrected itself even a little bit over the years and now we know that another deepwater offshore rig is being investigated.
Investigation Into Another "Problem Child Drilling Operation by BP"
In February, two months before the Deepwater Horizon spill, 19 members of Congress called on the agency that oversees offshore oil drilling to investigate a whistle-blower's complaints about the BP-owned Atlantis, which is stationed in 7,070 feet of water more than 150 miles south of New Orleans.
The Associated Press has learned that an independent firm hired by BP substantiated the complaints in 2009 and found that the giant petroleum company was violating its own policies by not having completed engineering documents on board the Atlantis when it began operating in 2007.
Stanley Sporkin, a former federal judge whose firm served as BP's ombudsman, said that the allegation "was substantiated, and that's it." The firm was hired by BP in 2006 to act as an independent office to receive and investigate employee complaints.
Engineering documents -- covering everything from safety shutdown systems to blowout preventers -- are meant to be roadmaps for safely starting and halting production on the huge offshore platform.
Running an oil rig with flawed and missing documentation is like cooking a dinner without a complete recipe, said University of California, Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea, an oil pipeline expert who has been reviewing the whistle-blower allegations and studied the Gulf blowout.
BP's Own Probe Finds Issues with the Atlantis Rig
What is the Atlantis Oil Field?
The Atlantis oil field is the third largest oil field in the Gulf of Mexico. The field was discovered in 1998 and is located in US federal waters about 130 miles (210 km) from the coast of Louisiana in 6,500 feet (2,000 m) of water.
It has estimated ultimate reserves of about 600 million barrels (95 million m³). The British energy company BP owns a 56 percent interest in the field in conjunction with BHP Billiton Petroleum Deepwater which owns a 44 percent interest. The field is expected to produce about 200,000 barrels (32,000 m³) of oil per day and 180 million cubic feet (5,100,000 m3) of gas per day starting in the second half of 2007. The oil field was discovered in 1998 by the Ocean America semi-submersible, mobile drilling rig operating in a water depth of 1,870 meters.
Wiki: Atlantis Oil Field
Are we ever going to open our eyes to what this company is going to continue to do and take the needed steps to stop them from ever holding a license or lease in the country again?