Monday, November 14, 2005

B.P. -- Beyond Pathetic

Everytime I see one of British Petroleum's ads on TV, I can't help but think they should be spending that advertising money on the actual refining of fossil fuels cause so far they don't seem to have that process down pat just yet.

Instead of saying B.P. -- "Beyond Petroleum" -- maybe it oughta be B.P. -- "Beyond Pathetic" -- or B.P. -- ""Buffoonish Prigs."

If you're vaguely familiar with current events here in the Petrochemical Underarm of Texas, you'll recall that 15 workers were killed and 170 injured in an explosion at B.P.'s Texas City refinery last March.

Preliminary findings disclose that the thing that let flammable material to escape -- a blowdown drum -- should have been connected to a flare under a recommendation made by the previous plant owner, Amoco. That never was done.

The preliminary findings were released Oct. 27, so that's kinda old news, but then on Friday the state released information that B.P.'s Texas City plant faces a $15,990 fine for violating its air permit, failing to maintain emission rates of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides and failing to determine if an emissions event was reportable.

What in the Sam Hill is going on over there? While the public is subjected to these incessant B.P. TV ads, driving home the point that the company is "Beyond Petroleum," the dadgum company can't follow the simple rules set out by the State of Texas regulators, who aren't known for being hardheads when it comes to policing the petrochemical industry. There oughta be a law, and I guess there is, but sometimes it doesn't seem like it.



kschlenker said...

Don't forget the second explosion on July 29th. It wasn't even in the same part of plant; maybe that whole refinery needs to be reworked.

They aren't "Beyond" they are "Before"...since they can't even get refining right. said...

Banjo, my late father was a Union indutrial contractor in TC and the old AMOCO was one of our biggest clients, in fact our shop was just up the street a block or so from the main entrance.

I spent many many long hard hours inside that refinery, and I can tell you it was a very old refinery even then.

I have a buddy in the Operators Union who invests in Valero because they do things right when they buy an old refinery and upgrade it.

[He was working on the construction job where the people died, and he missed being killed in the BP explosion last March because he was given the day off.]

BP bought an old refinery and despite all the hype it did not invest what it needed to invest in upgrading that old refinery. said...

PS, this will give you an idea of just how old that refinery is and how long many of its units have been in operation.

My late grandfather, C. R. Johnson of the OCAW, was chief operator on catcracker number 1 at AMOCO Texas City from the time it was built to provide gasoline for the war effort against Hitler and the Nips, to the day he retired.

As a young Union construction worker for my father's company, I spent many double shifts on overtime working on large-scale shutdowns for that unit long after my grandfather had retired.

The explosion, if I am correct, took place in a unit related to the old cat number 1.