I just watched a documentary recounting the recollections of the survivors of the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deep-water, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible offshore drilling rig that suffered a catastrophic blowout that caused an explosion that killed 11 crew members and led to the worst marine environmental disaster in the history of petroleum production.

Thirteen years earlier, I sat transfixed by the real-time underwater operations and technical explainers as highly-skilled petroleum engineers attempted to shut in and cap the well which had been gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana. An estimated 5 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf region for the 87 days before the well was brought under control.

The stories of the heroic crew members battling an unwinnable war that saw the rig sink was heart-wrenching as you saw ordinary men and women do extraordinary things in the face of an almost certain death.

But what pissed me off was a post-story explainer that turned political.


This unnecessary political message was inserted into the documentary, produced by 1895 Films, written and directed by Tom Jennings, and aired by National Geographic on Feb 17, 2019.

The facts…

Yes, the Trump Administration did roll back Obama-era offshore drilling safety measures following the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. What is missing is the context, as progressive communist democrats are wont to say. It is no secret that the Trump administration had prioritized reducing the regulatory burden on oil and gas companies to drive U.S. energy production and exports.

The Obama administration’s 2016 well-control and blowout preventer rule treated all offshore drilling rigs in the same manner regardless of rig type, location, water depth, engineering, and drilling environment, requiring frequent testing, real-time monitoring of operations, and certification by third parties of emergency devices.

The Trump Administration relaxed the 14-day testing cycle so that rig operators could, on the approval of the appropriate regulatory agency, use a 21-day testing cycle that was said to avoid more frequent testing that might risk equipment failure under extreme conditions as the systems were cycled. As for real-time monitoring, most deep-water rigs have a telemetry system that monitors rig activities from shore – to avoid placing additional people on the rig under hazardous conditions.

It is a fact that deep-water oil exploration, production, and shipping are carried out under rigorous supervision by highly trained personnel. Nobody, especially the crew, will knowingly tolerate unsafe conditions that risk life and limb.

Unfortunately, the conditions at the underwater wellhead make on-site inspections difficult except by remote-operated vehicles and, when necessary, specialized compression divers who remain under extreme pressure and breathe a helium-oxygen mixture for days on end. The Deepwater Horizon tragedy cost BP more than $69 billion in cleanup expenses, fines, fees, and legal settlements, not to mention other large sums from affiliated parties. No company is willing to risk their financial future by tolerating slipshod operations.

Bottom line…

We are screwed when content producers insert misleading political messaging into their products and platforms. Isn’t that what the progressive communist democrats are accusing conservatives of doing – and demanding a right to censor information using their own interpretations of the truth?

-- Steve

Sorry folks, I love technology…

Resources for those wishing to review the BSEE Well Control Rule 2019, read the  Blowout Preventer Maintenance and Inspection in Deepwater Operations documents, or poke around the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement site.

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS