As part of the fallout from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, representatives from Big Oil have been summoned to the Hill to testify before the House energy and commerce committee. So what did the men from ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell have to say on the problems caused on the watch of, and facing, BP?
Two things stand out from the testimonies given: the admission that none of the other players had a clean-up plan any better than BP’s, and that all those other players said they would not have continued drilling if they had faced the same problems experienced on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig.
The lack of credible clean-up plans was noted by the committee, as was the thought that their main concern in such an event was to effectively manage the PR side of things.
Meanwhile, the oil continues to gush out, the rate of “leakage” now having increased to an estimated 50,000 barrels a day – or even more. Evidence, if any was needed, for why BP were drilling there in the first place – there’s a lot of potentially lucrative crude under the ocean floor.
The problem seems to be that there has been indecent haste to get at the stuff, without bearing in mind that the boundaries have been pushed a long way in the process. The result might yet harm BP terminally.