Maybe if somebody in Washington in authority had listened to a man named Mike Mason in 2005, something would have been done that could have avoided the oil spill. It was reported in the Corporate Crime Reporter that at that time Mr. Mason, a 27-year oil industry veteran who worked on oil rigs at BP facilities on the North Slope of Alaska, was saying that cheating on tests for blowout preventers was widespread in the industry. Mason said he had actually witnessed BP cheating on the tests in the North Slope. It’s significant that before the disaster in the Gulf, the Corporate Crime Reporter ran this article detailing Mason’s allegations of BP’s cheating on blowout preventer tests.
At the time, Mason, who was working for Nabors Alaska Drilling Inc., a BP contractor on the North Slope, said he witnessed two blowouts of BP wells on the North Slope in 2003 – one on July 3rd and one on December 6th. Mason said then that cheating on blowout prevention tests was a way of life in the oil industry. He observed, “they cheat to save money and time.” The oil industry veteran said he personally witnessed BP managers repeatedly cheating on blowout prevention tests. If what Mason says is accurate, it tells us lots about BP and it also tells us a great deal of how inept the federal government regulators have been. At the very least, the allegations made by Mason should have gotten the attention of the regulators and also of the President and Congress.
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