What, you haven’t heard that Halliburton is involved in the massive oil spill currently despoiling Gulf fishing and shrimping, and threatening your favorite Florida beaches and the Keys4? Then read on.
An oil-drilling procedure called cementing is coming under scrutiny as a possible cause of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that has led to one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history, drilling experts said Thursday.1
Who was responsible for this cementing process? Not BP, as you might assume from most of the MSM coverage to date. No, that would be Halliburton.
The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week.1
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen a single moment of TV coverage of this incident where the name Halliburton has been mentioned. Now that in itself seems odd to me.
But what is even more odd? It appears that Halliburton was quite well aware that there were significant risks associated with this process in deep water drilling, and that the technology to mitigate those risks simply does not exist.2 If, as appears to be true from Halliburton’s own public documents, they knew that “cementing” of deep water wells (like Horizon was drilling) was inherently risky and the solution is unknown, then one has to ask why we are pursuing this strategy. The answer of course is money. We know that our coal mines are not safe, that nuclear power produces waste that we can not safely handle, and now we find that deep water exploration can not be done safely.
Yes, there are risks associated with everything in life, but the wise man manages risk, and evaluates it against acceptable costs. Human life should be a prime factor in that evaluation. The problem is that the corporatocracy running our nation simply doesn’t factor in human life at all. As an aside to those who doubt we live in a corporatocracy, I will refer you the recent Citizens United decision3. No doubt, there will be lawsuits over the loss of life (both human and marine) which have resulted from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. No doubt large awards will be granted. What is in doubt is whether those rewards will be large enough to discourage this type of reckless drilling in the future.
The potential rewards, when you ignore the human cost, far outweigh the risks of such an event occurring again. As long as the corporations control the government, as long as the demand for their products remains high enough, as long as we as a nation “run on oil”, then BP (and others like them) will continue to drill in areas where the technology is too immature. They will continue to employ Halliburton to “cement” those wells because, with Halliburton, money trumps human life. They have proven that time and again. This is just one more such incident.
1Drilling Process Attracts Scrutiny in Rig Explosion – WSJ.com
2Halliburton Presentation May Explain Horizon Oil Rig Explosion and Fire
3Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
4Oil Spill: Expected to impact Jacksonville to Miami