Congressman asks Minerals Management Service for action

Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AK) asks for data checkup on BP’s Atlantis platform.

Following the Food and Water Watch request to the US Minerals Management Service to suspend production on BP’s flagship ‘Atlantis’ development in the Gulf of Mexico following alleged documentation deficiencies (OITJ July 2009), Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AK) has joined the fray, with a letter addressed to MMS director Ms. Elizabeth Birnbaum. The letter asks the MMS ‘to verify the existence of a complete and accurate set of drawings and report its findings to Congress.’ The letter, signed by 19 house democrats, also expressed ‘concern’ that the MMS’ interpretation of rule 30 C.F.R. 250.903(a)(1) concerning approval to operate at Atlantis ‘indicates a less than acceptable standard.’ The letter cites ‘communications between the MMS and congressional staff’ suggesting that while the company must maintain ‘as-built’ documents, there is no requirement that such documents ‘be complete or accurate.’

An incident* last July on Atlantis involving a gas leak cited ‘the lack of written procedures [..]’ as a contributing cause. Since then BP has been working with its suppliers and the MMS to fix the problem and is having an ‘Installation, Operating and Maintenance Manual’ drafted covering the equipment at issue. More from

* links/1003_2.

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