A Shocking Memo - BP and the Three Little Pigs

A shocking memo discovered by The Daily Beast shows that BP, in the Texas City explosion five years ago where 15 workers died and 170 were injured, put those workers who died into cheap portable trailers next door to highly explosive facilities purely to save money.

This internal document, referring to its own analysis as The Three Little Pigs, shows how BP took deadly risks by choosing to save money by building cheaper housing for workers after comparing the cost of housing people in blast-resistant buildings versus the cheaper trailers.

Did BP similarly cut corners in the Gulf explosion? Do they still consider their workers "little piggies" whose lives' are less valuable than corporate profits?

Increasingly it is looking like BP is a criminal organized operation that has killed numerous human beings, and should itself be put to death - dissolved - and its top executives put in jail.

Three executives from BP, Halliburton, and Transocean each blamed the other for the deaths of 11 men on the Deepwater Horizon in their testimony before congress, yet they all walked out of the room and off to their private jets to fly off to their private mansions - but if three people had robbed a gas station and 11 people had died because one of them accidentally exploded a gas pump, and each of the three blamed the other guy, do you really think three "average guy" criminals wouldn't be in prison right now?

Our corporate limitations on liability need to be rewritten, and the entire idea that corporations are people but the people who run them are immune from criminal prosecution for the corporation's crimes needs to be blown up.

Visit www.movetoamend.org now to help amend the Constitution and end corporate personhood!


pureluck 14 years 4 weeks ago

Hey, does everyone know that there's a *live* video cam of the gushing oil at the following link:


Notice the time stamp. This is live. This is horrifying. Every second. While we eat. While we sleep. For the last 36 days. This is a monster. Seriously.

kimk 14 years 4 weeks ago

I also read Carville's comments re Obama and BP. On one hand, like you said, he's from down there and is much closer to what's going on and his comments were appropriate. On the other hand, I thought, is Hillary thinking this is Obama's Katrina and it's a trial balloon for Hillary in 2014???

Please have Marcy Winograd on!! She's running against Jane Harmon in June 8 primary. Marcy is a real progressive, a long time activist, a teacher and educator. Marcy is the peace and education candidate we need in Congress now. Thank you in advance.

DRSpalding's picture
DRSpalding 14 years 4 weeks ago

It is not very surprising about the "three little pigs" that any corporation would put the dollar at a higher value than human life. I'm glad it's out though. Maybe people will wake up a little bit to the corporatist greed inherent in our economic system.

A little physics on the problem of plugging a gusher oil well is in order. You cannot just put something on top of it. I do not know the exact pressure of the oil in the well, but I have heard numbers on the order of 10,000 PSI and larger. If someone can confirm any information about that, I would appreciated it. I do know that it has to be > 2150 PSI which is the approximate pressure of the sea at 5000 feet of depth. Even at 10,000 PSI, the weight needed to simply plug the riser pipe of 21" in diameter is 10,000 PSI * pi * 10.5" ^ 2 = 3,463,605 lbs. Yes, that is 1731 tons (1571 long tonnes, i.e 1,571,000 kg).

The other issue with containment of the oil out of the riser/BOP is that the pressure inside the containment vessel more or less equalizes with the well, unless the vessel is continually vented to the outside (or surface in a tanker). Any containment vessel also will be larger than the riser pipe, massively multiplying the mass needed to keep it sealed. Perhaps this pressure can be harnessed in driving the oil and gas to the surface in a controlled manner, but with methane freezing at that temperature and pressure and oil being very thick, I am not sure that is even viable. This doesn't even account for the buoyancy of the methane and hydrates displacing the water inside the vessel. I believe that the only option to capture the oil is to use a free flow system that just lets it flow out of the riser into a collector. I think that this is what the initial attempt with the 100 ton box was all about. At 40' x 10' x 10' (roughly) the 100 ton box requires only about 1 PSI on the inside surface to raise it (each side roughly 400 sq. ft (4 of them) and 100 sq ft on the top, so 1700 sq ft. total. That is 244,800 sq. in. of surface and 1 pound on each of those is 244,800 pounds!

I think that this underscores how hard this problem is and how close we are to the limits of our techonology for this kind of drilling.

I sincerely hope that the mud in the BOP and well head works. This is turning into a global catastrophe for our environment.

Choco's picture
Choco 14 years 4 weeks ago

Time to nationalize oil.

Consider what we get for our 600 billion+ annual military budget. This public support of the military does not include the cost for the wars in Afghanistan (Pakistan) and Iraq. We get a military that seems to be at the beck and call of the oil industry. The war in Afghanistan is all about the pipelines from the Caspian Sea Basin, the war in Iraq is about seizing and controlling the oil fields.

Here's proof: http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&before_9/11=pipelinePolitics

The public is asked to bear all costs for big oil while big oil takes ALL the profits and actually sells the oil on the world market. That's a double slap in the face to taxpayers.

We should push to nationalize oil exploration and production. If we are going to use US taxpayer monies to overthrow sovereign foreign governments and install our hand picked puppet dictators, i.e., Hamid Karzai, Unocal consultant, then we should take the next step and control the resource or, better, let those sovereign nations develop their own resources and buy from them on the open market. Capitialism today is not Free Market. Capitalism is mega large corporations infiltrating the govt and creating policy and laws that further benefit (in this case) big oil. Big oil uses those profits, not to develop emergency containment measures, not to develop green energies, but to install political candidates of their choice and to further corrupt those already in Congress.

The disaster in the Gulf is testimoney of our national religion, the worship of money and power. It makes no sense going forward that a handfull of people can control the earth's finite resource and lobby against green energy development while raking in hundreds of billions of profits. Things will only get worse. Companies merge, fewer and fewer are in control, the population grows and energy consumption grows proportionally.

BP, Halliburton and Transocean are persons and should be executed. Their assets should be seized by the govt, i.e., we the people, and the heads of those companies and their boards of directors should be charged with treason and reckless endangerment and gross negligence.

Obama's reaction proves, if court jester Bush didn't, that the presidency of the United States is a figurehead and the global elites really are running everything . . . in the ground.

RandyWinn's picture
RandyWinn 14 years 4 weeks ago

"In democratic societies, citizens’ behavior is unduly restrained if they fear being watched at every turn."

--- Tim Berners-Lee et al.

But the problem, as Tim et al. point out, is that we can't keep out information from being collected -it's nearly impossible. What we CAN do is by controlling what is done with it. See:


rladlof's picture
rladlof 14 years 4 weeks ago

. . . said the dude from the backseat of his 1972 Ford Pinto . . .

meridian's picture
meridian 14 years 4 weeks ago

How about this?

America is the third worst user of oil per head of population in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Canada.

So, Americans, use less oil/gas in your cars. Switch off all the wasted lights at your offices and homes created by burning oil. Then, less oil wil be needed - less oil wells.

Will that ever happen in "couldn't care less how much we waste" America?

No, thought not.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 14 years 4 weeks ago

The object of capitalist business is to make a profit. This is proved by realizing that companies weigh lives v. bottom line. Nothing new here.

sugarchai's picture
sugarchai 14 years 4 weeks ago

Wait a minute... Rush said everyone should get one vote plus one for each $20,000 paid in taxes? What's the problem? Everybody knows the rich don't pay taxes!

colinski's picture
colinski 14 years 4 weeks ago


Here's a mini-fact that could possibly have a role in this discussion. Coincidentally, BP started as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which played a central role in the history of Iran when P.M. Mossadegh & the Iranian parliament nationalized Iran's oil in 1951, which led to the CIA's Operation Ajax which then overthrew Mossedegh.

There's a considerable amount of history involved here that I'm not capable of summing up, but what comes to mind is the way that Iran, Iraq and Israel were formed and how these events have played out in current foreign relations in terms of the eventual blowback.

Oil was one of the issues that shaped the formation of modern Iraq, and not many people are aware that Saddam Hussein's coming into power was the eventual result of a CIA fomented coup, which is described by Roger Morris in his Op Ed Saddam was our man.

Again, there's a considerable amount of history here, but an important place to look is the British puppet government's formation (Hashemite Dynasty) in Iraq after WWI.

"I do not understand this sqeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes." - Winston Churchill.

Corporate and government interests are intertwined in these historical events, and that's the lesson we need to learn again in regards to the current oil spill and its genesis.

Cliff Schrock's picture
Cliff Schrock 14 years 2 weeks ago

At last, someone else (beside me) is doing the Math! As I was scanning old blogs, I found someone else (DRSpalding) who has an accurate idea of what we are dealing with on this blowout containment. DRSpalding correctly states the issues involved, the pressure at 5000 ft of roughly 2150 psi, and the deep well pressure, which if unimpeded could reach 7750 psi in the well pipe. With the well leaking at 5000 ft of depth, the pressure at that point would be the difference; 5600 psi. If you try to contain that pressure in a containment vessel or cap, it would have a lift, as stated and recalculated, at 438 tonns per square foot. Another factor of concern to me is that the 21 inch drill casing to the surface weights 122 lbs per foot, so the total weight on the wellhead was 305 tonns before it collapsed. So picture a well head being held down with 305 tonns of steel on top, now missing, which could come out of the ground like a giant hyraulic cylinder with 438 tonns per square foot of lift, and now we would just have a hole in the ocean floor erupting oil like a volcano.

So, all the theories like stuff an inner tube down the hole and blow it up, or put a load of concrete blocks and quick set cement on to are just ignorant. At this point I think that BP has to let the "tophat" leak so that it doesn't just lift off. They have to be thinking that the answer is to out-pump the leakage as much as possible while getting to plan "B" as soon as possible, to drill a relief well from the side to relieve the pressure, then plug the broken well pipe (with a lot of concrete!).

If you could put something on top of the wellhead to hold it down and hold the pressure, it would have to be a chunk of metal the size of an old aircraft carrier, (don't we have a couple of those around somewhere we could sink on the well?).

The moral of the story as it has played out and will play out is that you better know what you are doing when you start messing around and drilling at those depths. Clearly BP didn't!

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