Brazil’s first taste of a deepwater oil drilling blowout this week has demonstrated one thing above all else – just like you can’t trust the nuclear industry neither can you trust the word of big oil.
Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company intending to drill for oil in up to 3100 metres of water off New Zealand’s East Cape, is the part-owner of the affected oil field northeast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the oil blowout has occurred.
On the 8th November a deepwater drilling rig (SEDCO 706) being operated by US oil giant Chevron was drilling an appraisal oil well in 1,150 metres water depth. It appears that the drilling operation over pressurised the well and fractured the surrounding rock which opened up cracks in the sea floor that oil started to flow through into the Atlantic ocean.
But the oil industry did not announce to the public that they had caused a blowout – they kept silent. It wasn’t until the non-governmental organisation, SkyTruth revealed on the 10th November that they could see a 35 mile oil slick on the ocean surface, that the story started to come out.