At least the walruses are safe, and any day now @Nifty will save the Gulf

British Petroleum isn’t so awful after all — it turns out that they have an almost 600 page long emergency response plan to deal with blowouts on their offshore oil wells. All the answers are in there, and I’m sure that they’ll soon be implemented. You can read those plans yourself and feel the warm glow of confidence that all is in good hands.

  1. Lists “Sea Lions, Seals, Sea Otters [and] Walruses” as “Sensitive Biological Resources” in the Gulf, suggesting that portions were cribbed from previous Arctic exploratory planning;

  2. Gives a web site for a Japanese home shopping site as the link to one of its “primary equipment providers for BP in the Gulf of Mexico Region [for]rapid deployment of spill response resources on a 24 hour, 7 days a week basis”; and

  3. Directs its media spokespeople to never make “promises that property, ecology, or anything else will be restored to normal,” implying that BP will only commit candor by omission.

I have reviewed the plan myself. It’s amazing.

  1. The walruses in the Gulf of Mexico are all safe. I repeat, the walruses are safe. This part of their plan was executed perfectly. We have to give them credit here.

  2. The site for primary equipment providers is extremely technical, and it’s also almost entirely in Japanese, so I’m afraid I can’t extract all the details. It does say in English “@nifty” on many of the pages, and nifty sounds like exactly the quality I want in my industrial gear. I think this is a picture of the rapid response team, dressed for deployment to the warm Gulf waters:



    I poked around a bit and found this cryptic diagram of a mysterious machine of some sort. I’m pretty sure it’s the device that will be lowered deep into the ocean to seal off the gushing wellhead. It is in Japanese, so I can’t tell how it will work, but it definitely looks nifty.

  3. That third part of the plan is also a whopping success. Candor is completely absent. BP’s CEO, Tony Hayward, has in fact done a sterling job of being an unctuous, lying ass, saying that the spill will have only a “very, very modest” impact on the environment, and doing a fabulous job of trying to get his life back.

One other relevant point is that they do list worst case scenarios for various wells, and they’re spot on. The worst-case oil spill for any well is the sum of the amount of oil in various flow lines plus one day’s output from the well, and I’m sure it would be accurate if, as they assume, every catastrophic failure were quickly fixed within one day. Or in some cases, the well is simply instantly shut off. That it’s been flowing for 7 weeks instead of a single day is a fairly trivial difference, and even that estimates are in the range of 20 million barrels lost instead of the predicted 20 thousand barrels, is easily explained if we simply assume that there are creationists in charge of the schedule. We can even estimate when the pipe will be closed by simply using the kind of creationist math with which I am familiar, so we can be confident that the gusher will end within 134 years.

I think we can safely say that BP’s response to this disaster has been as effective as promised in their official response plan, filed almost a year ago. It is so eerily accurate I’m almost ready to credit them with psychic powers. They have the competence of a Sylvia Browne, the infallibility of the Pope, the steely-eyed acumen of Pat Robertson, and the forthright honesty of a Republican senator’s opposition to gay marriage.

I shall sleep well tonight in the knowledge that industry has prepared many such environmental response plans.