Oil Spill Investigators Say Access to Data Is Being Blocked

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Investigators working to piece together the data that workers on the Deepwater Horizon saw in the rig’s final hours have run into a roadblock, according to a letter sent Monday to the presidential panel’s commissioners.

A company called National Oilwell Varco, an offshore drilling company, provided the data displays aboard the rig and is standing in the way of the investigators’ effort to reconstruct data displays similar to the ones on the rig using data supplied by BP, the investigators said:

For over a month, we have attempted to elicit NOV’s assistance on this matter. They have been generally uncooperative, either in the form of refusal or delay.

“The men who know the precise answers to those questions … are deceased,” wrote investigator Fred Bartlit. “All we have is the data. We request your assistance in obtaining NOV’s cooperation.”

National Oilwell Varco, in a statement, said it rejected the investigators’ requests out of concern that trying to recreate the displays could produce a “misleading picture of what actually happened.

Read the investigators’ letter.

Article by Marian Wang, appearing courtesy Propublica.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.