One day before its Gulf oil rig exploded, Mariner Energy said Obama “is trying to break us” with moratorium

UPDATE:  Now the Coast Guard says they were wrong, the rig explosion did not cause a spill.

No, it’s not even close to BP redux, but the story is noteworthy — and not just for its irony, as TP makes clear:

The U.S. Coast Guard said this morning that a natural gas and oil drilling platform exploded 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana. A Coast Guard spokesperson said the platform, Vermilion Oil Rig 360, is an oil and gas platform owned by Houston-based Mariner Energy.   The AP reports, “the platform was producing about 58,800 gallons of oil and 900,000 cubic feet of gas per day. The platform can store 4,200 gallons of oil.”  Apache Corp. recently purchased Mariner in a multi-billion dollar deal.

Just yesterday, however, the Financial Times reported that employees from Apache and Mariner, along with thousands of oil industry workers, rallied in Houston to protest the Obama administration’s offshore drilling moratorium that was designed as a safety precaution after BP’s disastrous Gulf oil spill. A Mariner Energy employee chastised the Obama administration for its drilling moratorium, which would not have affected the rig that exploded today:

Companies ranging from Chevron to Apache bussed in up to 5,000 employees to the Houston convention centre to underline to Washington the industry’s contribution to the country….

I have been in the oil and gas industry for 40 years, and this administration is trying to break us,” said Barbara Dianne Hagood, senior landman for Mariner Energy, a small company. “The moratorium they imposed is going to be a financial disaster for the gulf coast, gulf coast employees and gulf coast residents.”

Apache Corp. recently agreed to buy BP assets in order to help the British oil giant meet its financial obligations as a result of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Thirteen workers were on the rig when it exploded; the Coast Guard has said that “all 13 workers involved in the production platform explosion are accounted for, but one person is injured.”

— This is a Think Progress cross-post (with some additional reporting by CP).

12 Responses to One day before its Gulf oil rig exploded, Mariner Energy said Obama “is trying to break us” with moratorium

  1. Prokaryotes says:

    Stop screwing with our oceans – STOP OFFSHORE DRILLING, build Wind farms NOW!

  2. mike roddy says:

    The oil and coal companies have some sort of sacred status in Washington, which not only keeps them from going busted, but even from having a losing year (BP will make money this year).

    If we are going to change to clean and renewable energy, a lot of oil, coal, and offshore drilling companies are going to have to go busted in the process. The world would be a better place. Hey, we can dream, right?

  3. James Newberry says:

    The oil/ fossilized economy is becoming more absurd and destructive by the week. Prepare for multiple actual and political hurricanes as multi-trillion dollar invested interests (including fueling the DOD) fight for their failed paradigm of “economics” and natural resource exploitation.

    Petrochemicals are not energy resources. They are materials. The “burning” political question is how to transition federalized “economics” away from massive historic fuel subsidies (and the fraud of mined matter as “energy”) without further layoff of these brave working Americans.

    Wind, solar, geothermal, deep building eco-retrofits, rail transport and urban rail, end-use upgrades by factors of ten anyone? We are like a nation needing to do a million things to reduce climate destabilization from “fuels,” yet standing still (or worse).

  4. Oil sheen spreading from latest Gulf platform explosion (Mariner Energy):

  5. Jackson Smith says:

    On Tuesday Greenpeace hijacked a rig off Greenland. To shut down drilling.

    Greenpeace has boarded a Scottish company’s drilling rig off Greenland and forced work to stop.

    The environmental campaigners said the rig, operated on behalf of Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy, had been boarded by four members.

    Greenpeace said the climbers had enough supplies to occupy hanging tents for several days.

  6. fj2 says:

    As bad as it is now, supposed denier logic will rapidly recede from the “land-of-the-real” as events accelerate increasing the immediacy and obviousness of causal dependence.

    In other words: When all else fails reason will prevail.

  7. Anne says:

    Miraculously we’ve failed to identify the heart of the beast and put it to rest. The Beast (big oil) lives. The global nature of oil — the sheer dauntifying socio-political-geographical-cluster-fuuck situation we have here — no one small item like this should be a surprise. It’s another sneeze with an energy economy that has a cold. And, like big oil, there is no cure for the common cold.

  8. Karen S. says:

    Good juxtaposition of news headlines there. Reminds me of Einstein’s definition of insanity. I’d add: It’s also storm season. Wait until the sheen and toxic smoke get picked up by the next magnified hurricane and carried inland. It won’t be just coastal impacts now. Then maybe more will question who is breaking who.

  9. Mark says:

    Who is trying to break who?

    Continued drilling is going to be an environmental disaster for the gulf coast, gulf coast employees and gulf coast residents and a financial disaster for our nation – the costs of which we are only now beginning to understand.

  10. Bob Wallace says:

    Lots of us would love to see all oil rigs shut, especially those located offshore. But it’s not something that can be done until people have alternatives to petroleum-fueled personal transportation. The vast majority will choose their car over the condition of the oceans.

    Best approach – push electric transportation. Battery prices have apparently fallen from $1,000 per kW to $400 per kW. This is a huge (but not unexpected) development. It means much more affordable EVs and PHEVs.

    We should be pushing the government to do even more to grease the skids for the transition away from petroleum. More plugin points. Plenty of purchase subsidies to bring prices down to the level of ICE vehicles.

    Get sales volumes up and a lot of economics will be taken care of by larger scale manufacturing….

  11. dbmetzger says:

    Drill baby drill, here we go again
    coverage from the CBC (canadian Broadcastin corp.)
    Oil Sheen Spotted Near Gulf Explosion
    An oil sheen has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of an explosion aboard a Mariner Energy oil platform.

  12. sailrick says:

    Job retraining centers need to be established ASAP in oil and coal country, in order to pre-empt problems associated with moving off fossil fuels.(not that oil really employs that many people, relative to the size of the industry).

    This strategy would help disable one of the denier and delayer arguments against quitting fossil fuels.