LLOG Exploration Offshore LLC, a Louisiana-based oil company, will resume drilling near the site of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Associated Press reported.
LLOG’s permit to drill a new well near the site of the BP disaster was approved last month by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which is in charge of offshore drilling. Last October, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved LLOG’s exploration plan after an environmental review.
“Our commitment is to not allow such an event to occur again,” LLOG’s vice president for deep-water projects Rick Fowler told AP. “LLOG staff keeps the memory of what happened … fresh in our minds throughout our operations, both planning and execution.”
LLOG is a much smaller company than energy-giant BP, something which could prove problematic if a similar disaster were to occur during drilling.
“BP had deep pockets,” Richard Charter, a senior fellow with the Ocean Foundation. “You don’t want someone not particularly qualified and not fully amortized to be tanking with this particular dragon. When a company can’t pay when something goes wrong, generally it’s the public that pays.”
And even when the company can pay, it will fight tooth and nail to avoid it. BP has been a prime example of that, even taking its appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. Thankfully, SCOTUS rejected the case, and BP will finally have to pay.
Disaster after disaster have proven how dangerous offshore drilling really is. Despite BP’s claims to the contrary, the Gulf still has not recovered fully from the the Deepwater Horizon explosion. It would be incredibly hard, if possible at all, for the region to survive another similar accident and oil companies are willing to tempt fate simply for larger profits.