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BP Engineers to be Charged as Felons


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#1 mudpuppy

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:45 PM

I saw this headline, but I don't have a subscription to the WSJ. Anyone have the scoop?

#2 okeng

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:25 PM

Here is a clip from the article I saw :

"Prosecutors are focused on several Houston-based engineers and at least one of their supervisors at the British oil company, though the breadth of the investigation isn't known. The prosecutors assert the employees may have provided false information to regulators about the risks associated with the Gulf of Mexico well while its drilling was in progress"

Willingly+knowingly=criminal This will be an interesting case to follow...

#3 bradlelf

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 04:30 PM

Per NSPE Daily EMail
"The Wall Street Journal (12/29, Fowler, Subscription Publication) reports that the Department of Justice is preparing the first set of felony criminal charges against BP PLC employees, specifically a few engineers based in Houston, alleging that they provided false information to regulators regarding drilling risks. The Journal further notes that, though not yet finalized, violations of the federal Clean Water Act could also lead to over $36.6 million in administrative fines and additional charges as analysts suspect that the federal government is ratcheting up pressure on the company to cooperate with investigators before the trial is set to begin on February 27, 2012. "

​That being said, the engineers in question should definitely be criminally charged for their actions. They allegedly did not take their engineer's code of ethics or their state's licensing laws seriously. The fact that engineers are even being questioned or accused like this is a black eye on the engineering community in general. Any corrosion of the public's good faith in engineers should be dealt with severely and expeditiously. Look at what they did to Conrad Murray (the Michael Jackson doctor) ... they publicly embarrassed him, criminally charged and convicted him. In my opinion that was to send a message to the public and other medical professionals. The same must be done here.
If you make a mistake ... man up. Fix it if you can, notify those who need to know and deal with the consequences. I am by no means perfect; everyone makes mistakes. I was lucky enough to have a great engineer as a mentor out of college and the owner of the company. They flat out told me within my first month of working ... "if you make a mistake tell me. I will have your back and we will deal with it. What ever you do don't lie about it ... that will not be tolerated and you are out." Good advice that I have carried through my career.

Edited by bradlelf, 29 December 2011 - 04:30 PM.


#4 Freon

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:45 PM

Considering that extremely few of the engineers in the petroleum industry are licensed, this may spark the fire to rethink the "exempt" status that the industry largely enjoys. It took a fire in a school to create "professional engineering" in Texas.

#5 MadDawg

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:28 PM

If you google the headline and click the wsj link it gets you past the pay-wall. No subscription required!

#6 mudpuppy

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 01:37 PM

Thanks for the tip MadDawg!




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