Sunday, May 2, 2010

British Petroleum (BP) Whistleblower Leaks 'Profits Before Safety' Engineering Practices

BP's Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Disaster 

Did BP Cut Corners By Hiring H-1B's?

Click here for UPDATE: The Meaning of Gluttony...

Has British Petroleum (BP) Cut Corners By Hiring H-1B's? Yes. Here is a current list of many job openings at BP for H-1B's, complete with salary listings. (Note that this list does not include any reference to the large numbers of Indian body shops in the U.S. that they may be contracting imported workers from as well.)

In this shocking Truthout report, Jason Leopold uncovers a former BP contractor turned whistleblower who was hired to supervise the company's databases who had raised concerns in 2008 over BP's failure to maintain crucial safety and engineering documents related to one of the firms other deepwater production projects in the Gulf of Mexico (don't miss the comments.) The contractor had feared the engineering document “shortfalls” related to Atlantis "could lead to catastrophic operator error" and that BP's own internal communications even showed that company officials “were aware of the issue.” Although Leopold's article does not indicate if any of the positions related to BP's disastrous rig explosion were given to H-1B visa holders (or if the whistleblower him or herself is an H-1B visa holder), it does expose the company's profits over people and safety issues that are increasingly linked to disastrous, locally unsustainable economic hiring practices where American corporations are trained to cut corners on how NOT to hire American workers.

Who is behind the orchestrated sell out of American jobs to cheap, dubiously “skilled” labor responsible for corporate America's rising numbers of compromised products and services spilling into heightened security and deadly safety breeches? Despite the growing millions of educated American engineers now unemployed/underemployed, BP has an appetite for cheap imported, “best and brightest” foreign workers to do the work that the corporate sponsored, American job killing tech lobby propaganda pit TechNet claims Americans actually support! And if you buy that whopper, I've got a collapsed bridge in India to sell you.

Among many positions advertised for non-Americans, BP is looking for an H-1B to Market Sector Analyst - Offshore Rigs to contribute “to BP's bottom line and is in the midst of implementing a new Strategy...” and  an SPU Data and Information Manger, Gulf of Mexico. Need a job but you're not from India? Get over yourselves! In the Neo-frat boy corporate state of America, No Americans Need Apply. (So much for local labor and oil sustainability from leading corporate persons like BP.)

The former BP contractor who worked for the oil behemoth and noted the engineering document safety gaps claimed in internal emails and other documents obtained by Truthout reveal he first raised these concerns back in 2008:

The whistleblower, whose name has been withheld at the person's request because the whistleblower still works in the oil industry and fears retaliation, first raised concerns about safety issues related to BP Atlantis, the world's largest and deepest semi-submersible oil and natural gas platform, located about 200 miles south of New Orleans, in November 2008. Atlantis, which began production in October 2007, has the capacity to produce about 8.4 million gallons of oil and 180 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
It was then that the whistleblower, who was hired to supervise the company's databases, discovered that Atlantis had been operating without a majority of the engineer-approved documents it needed to run safely, leaving it vulnerable to a catastrophic disaster that would far surpass the massive oil spill that began last week following a deadly explosion on a BP-operated drilling rig.”

It was later determined that the documents described as “as built” drawings need not be complete or accurate and, furthermore, are irrelevant to a hazard analysis BP was required to complete.”

An engineer with Apex Safety Consultants last year into BP's engineering documentation practices related to the subsea Atlantis components records revealed they lacked final approval:

Last May, Mike Sawyer, an engineer with Apex Safety Consultants who evaluated BP's database and looked into the whistleblower's allegations, concluded that of the 2,108 P&IDs BP maintained that dealt specifically with the subsea components of its Atlantis production project, 85 percent did not receive engineer approval. Even worse, 95 percent of Atlantis' subsea welding records did not receive final approval, calling into question the integrity of thousands of crucial welds on subsea components that, if they were to rupture, could result in an oil spill 30 times worse than the one that occurred after the explosion on Deepwater Horizon last week.
He said the safety shutdown logic drawings on Atlantis, a complex computerized system that, during emergencies, is supposed to send a signal to automatically shut down the flow of oil, were listed as "requiring update."

But if corporate state persons like BP hire cheap imported and outsourced labor to cut corners and continue to bar educated American engineers from jobs, who does care about local jobs and oil sustainability when the cost cutting corporate overlords are at the switch? One commenter noted:

This horrific disaster in the Gulf of Mexico should be the last nail in the coffin for offshore drilling! Yes, we will probably have to continue to use conventional energy until we catch up with clean energy. But, we don't have to imperil the oceans to do it.

It's time for Americans to demand corporations and their sleazy political enablers STOP putting corporate profits before local people's jobs and our safety. As is true for other countries, it's time for America to clean up our local environment and our local hiring practices by stopping the flood of cheap imported labor and to hold who is responsible for the lack of sound, quality engineering practices at BP accountable.

BP's latest horrific Gulf of Mexico disaster should be the last nail in the coffin to the horrific American job outsourcing and insourcing cheap foreign visa labor hiring practices used to kick Americans in our towns across the country to the curb.

Party on, plebes!



BuelahMan said...


Is it possible that there is an intent to massively disturb energy production in the USA?

Is it possible that this is no accident?

Look what is happening. Oil production is being shut down in the Gulf (as it probably should be). But, this will come at a time that the average American can hardly afford the costs that surely will be associated with "spill" that can't be capped.

There are huge under-estimates of the amount/damage wrought on the Southern Coast.

This will be an environmental catastrophe like the world has never seen, AND the price of oil/gas is about to sky rocket.

They are going to make huge profits, even if they have to construct the method by sabotage.

Melvin Toast said...

My Dear 2T,

This is an outrage, an absolute scandal. BP, a foregin entity, is unloading American jobs on American soil!

It's bad enough when Bill "Curry Favor" Gates hands out H1-B visas like mukhwas at an Indian restaurant.

BP is foreign-owned and should be bending over backward to employ Americans in America.

Go get 'em 2T!

We love you in Indiana.


Melvin Toast

2Truthy said...

B'Man, If this horrible environmental disaster is the best Al Gore & Co. have in their bag of trix to enlarge a monopoli$tic Carbon offsets/EHR-Health records/Green building portfolio and forge these neo-frat boy markets at the same time, such a scenario might not be entirely out of the question. I find it hard to believe, though, that anyone with any conscience could even think of harming and killing marine wildlife, destroying our coastlines and people's livelihoods and jobs. On the other hand, under such an unthinkable scenario, what a "kind and gentle" way for Carebear to tell millions of Americans that the U.S. has no more 'affordable' gas and oil and tourism/hospitality/oil rig/fishery related jobs anymore and most will just have to get over themselves, eat shit and die? Nah. I can't believe that. Just a tragedy, sloppy/incompetent and negligent oversight, perhaps?

Mel, Who needs American white collar workers? Look for the ehm, *damage control* 'BP hires U.S. workers for oil rigs and clean up' blitz to hit the feeds.

Anonymous said...

I am concerned that the cost cutting and pressure on contractors to provide these cuts, is widespread.. BP relies heavily on contractors who are in constant fear for their jobs... Constant changing of companies, to save a few dollars, seems to be the priority.. Workers for BP feel undervalued and like second-class citizens. "Management of Change" is quoted as being important, but is only given "lip-service". I think if BP directly employed more staff, my doubts would be relieved... I'm not sure if this contributed in any way to the recent events, but it is something that BP should look at in the future...

2Truthy said...


Thanks for your comment about what BP may need to do to clean up their corporate culture. Here is a link to BPs Indian outsourcing alliances:

How Indian Tech Wipro, Tata, Infosys, IBM bag $1.5-billion outsourcing deal from British Petroleum?

Maybe things would have workers out better for BP if those jobs were done/stayed with skilled American engineers and programmers who need them? I agree with you that the (inhumane) pressure on contractors both local and foreign to perform and the resulting feelings of being "second class citizens" is also a big psychological high for the Neo-Frat Boy, man-crush driven corporate state managers who WANT workers squirming and guessing and paid a pittance. It's much harder, however, for them to maintain that type of master/slave superiority vibe when they hire their local educated peers to full time positions - no, no, too threatening.

But contractor/outsourcing worker incompetence and negligence has left its mark on a number of US companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Sun, Oracle and others as this video explains:

Because of all the outsourcing, fraud, abuse, off-shore tax evasion, waste, incompetence, corruption, lies, job economics, welfare for the rich, war profiteering, Constitutional violations along with a corporate crime wave of monumental proportions, where's the CHANGE FROM THIS that the Obama administration (looking more like Bush/Cheney) got elected on? Never mind that American engineers and programmers need jobs. Maybe BP will reconsider its hiring practices?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cutting corners, BP outsources to Indian Wipro, Tata, and Infosys.It was reported on April 27 BP cut 5,000 jobs and saved $4 billion in operating expenses,but there was no mention about whether those 5,000 job cuts were US IT workers and engineers.

Anonymous Tipline: If you work for BP or a contractor on a rig in the Gulf, or anywhere else, we'd like to hear from you. Tell us about your work conditions, your management, and your observations of what is happening. We will not publish your identity. Call 917-512-0254, fax documents to 212-514-5250 or email abrahm.lustgarten@