Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What I learned about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill

While writing an article for Demand Studios on Kirkuk oil, I learned a few things that relate to the current Gulf Coast Oil Spill.
I learned that oil companies and government fight all of the time over how to balance oil field management and not polluting the environment or damaging the oil well. (This degrades the oil quality.)
Sometimes, these fights stem from the oil industry's internal strife.
I also learned that all industry everywhere have this problem.
There is a rift often between college degreed workers and those who learned on the job and opt not to earn a degree. Sometimes people, who don't really know any better, challenge management and those people whom management place in important positions. You know the type. They can always do something better than you but they don't have a degree, did not want to go get one and consider education unnecessary.
It never occurred to me that this fight could extend to the oil industry and that simple rules put in place to protect the oil well, the environment, and the people–due to false pride– are undermined.
Not everyone is up for the fight and sometimes cave to pressure either to keep the peace or keep the job they have or both.
During research an article, I had to read many reports regarding routine problems on oil rigs and how they are managed. Corners are cut unofficially to increase profit--even though I know there is some engineer standing in corner shaking his or her head about how they should listen to him or her and not do the thing that they are doing. Rifts form between management and workers. People are afraid to step up because they want to keep their job.
False pride and greed are why there is a large amount of oil in the Gulf.
All of the oil companies have this problem with staff. It is when it becomes unmanageable and a situation occurs that we stop and examine our behavior.
Now everyone is running around with his or her hands up in the air complaining, worried and blaming the president.
What a mess.
Individual responsibility and the willingness to do the right thing within reason, is the way to prevent catastrophes that are difficult to solve.
I also learned that a major oil well in Iraq is running out of oil. The next 50 or so years will be crucial for America to turn around its obsession with fossil fuels, improve the electrical grid and start seriously building windmills. In 50 years, if I’m around, I will be too damn old and grouchy to deal with all of this crap.
Okay. BP just announced they will not be paying shareholder dividends. Any finance majors out there willing to expound on this revelation?
They did not say if this is a permanent situation or temporary.

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