2001 Congressman John Dingell Letters to BP re: Problems

on the North Slope

 

September 5, 2001

Congressman John Dingell Letter to Mr. Robert Malone, British Petroleum, regarding the North Slope Operations ( Found below )

 

August 29, 2001

BP letter to Congressman Dingell, regarding the ORT report commissioned by BP to determine what safety, operational, and other issues may exist regarding North Slope oil operations,  (Found below )

 

ORT ( Operations Review Team) Report (Found below )

ORTFinalReport.pdf

 

August 27, 2001

BP letter to Congressman Dingell, forwarding the recent report on

Surface Safety Valves

Letter and Report Not Yet Available

 

June 14, 2001

BP response regarding the allegations recently forwarded to me regarding a

number of issues relating to BPs north slope operations. (Found below )

 

May 14, 2001

Congressman John Dingell letter to Mr. Robert Malone, Regional President Western U.S., British Petroleum, regarding the investigation of the safety of BP's north slope operations

(Found below )

 

The Congressman John Dingell letters comes from:

http://archives.energycommerce.house.gov/press/107prchrono.shtml#Letters

The Public Record for the 107th Congress

This is a list of all public information released by the Committee on Energy and Commerce Democrats during the 107th Congress. The information is listed by date.

If you require information that was available on this website for a previous Congress, please see our archives page.

 

 

September 5, 2001

Congressman John Dingell letter to Mr. Robert Malone, British Petroleum, regarding the North Slope Operations

 

 

Found below and at:

http://archives.energycommerce.house.gov/press/107ltr79.shtml

 

September 5, 2001

 

Mr. Robert Malone

Regional President Western U.S.

British Petroleum

Office - PAC-2015

333 South Hope Street

Los Angeles, California 90071

 

Dear Mr. Malone:

 

Thank you for your letter of August 29, 2001, regarding the report commissioned by BP to determine what safety, operational, and other issues may exist regarding North Slope oil operations, as well as for your letter of August 27, 2001, forwarding the recent report on Surface Safety Valves. As you know, information has been reported to me and committee minority staff regarding a range of issues requiring the attention of BP and other North Slope operators. The special review team that BP has assembled represents a good first step in responding to the concerns that have been forwarded to me and to state and federal regulators.

 

You report that this team has already interviewed 250 employees. I understand that a number of issues requiring attention have become known. I look forward to receiving the report detailing these findings, as well as any lessons learned and key recommendations, resulting from this review. Of course, addressing the employee concerns that have been raised in this process will take time. We will continue to work with you to ensure that any major safety issues are expeditiously reviewed and resolved.

 

Thank you again for your efforts to respond to the concerns raised about North Slope oil operations. If you have any questions on this matter, please contact me directly, or contact Chris Knauer of the Committee Minority staff at 202-226-3400.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

JOHN D. DINGELL

RANKING MEMBER

 

cc: The Honorable W.J. "Billy" Tauzin

 

 Prepared by the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce

2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

August 29, 2001,

BP letter to Congressman Dingell regarding the ORT Report commissioned by BP to determine what safety, operational, and other issues

may exist regarding North Slope oil operations,

Letter Not Yet Available

 

ORT Report

ORTFinalReport.pdf

 

August 27, 2001,

BP letter to Congressman Dingell forwarding the recent report on Surface Safety Valves

Letter Not Yet Available

 

Surface Safety Valves Report

Report Not Yet Available

 

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

June 19,2001

John Dingell letter to Mr. Robert Malone, Regional President Western U.S., British Petroleum, regarding the investigation of the safety of BP's north slope operations

 

Found below and at:

http://archives.energycommerce.house.gov/press/107ltr62.shtml

 

Text only of letters sent from the Committee on Energy and Commerce Democrats.

June 19, 2001

 

Mr. Robert Malone

Regional President Western U.S.

British Petroleum

Office - PAC-2015

333 South Hope Street

Los Angeles, California 90071

 

Dear Mr. Malone:

 

I am in receipt of your June 14, 2001, response regarding the allegations recently forwarded to me regarding a number of issues relating to BPs north slope operations. These allegations primarily concerned surface-well safety systems in the Western Operating Area of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, including (1) surface safety valves (SSVs) attached to the surface wellheads, (2) pressure pilots, and (3) the hydraulic control systems which respond to shutdown signals from pressure pilots or from remote locations. I appreciate your detailed responses to each of those questions.

 

As you are aware, recent press reports and ongoing discussions between your staff and Committee minority staff have raised several issues relating to the SSVs, and whether they have been properly maintained or are failing at abnormally high rates as a result of poor maintenance and/or other factors. While your letter provided me with specific information regarding the specific allegations forwarded to me, it remains unclear what the overall conditions of the SSVs are in the Western Operating Area, or why allegations continue to be sent to Congress concerning these safety-critical components. I therefore ask you to address the attached questions regarding the testing and trending of all data related to the SSVs, and the implications of any findings resulting from such analysis. Also, please identify for me the person responsible for your response. (The attachment to your June 14, 2001, letter was unsigned.)

 

As always, I appreciate your assistance in this matter, and look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure the continued safety of all North-Slope petroleum delivery operations. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly, or continue working with Christopher Knauer, Committee on Energy and Commerce Minority staff, at 202-226-3400.

 

Sincerely,

 

JOHN D. DINGELL

RANKING MEMBER

Attachment

cc: The Honorable W. J. "Billy" Tauzin, Chairman

Committee on Energy and Commerce

 

Attachment:

QUESTIONS FOR MR. ROBERT MALONE

 

 

1. BP and its affiliate operators apparently collect (on a continuing basis) data related to all aspects of the SSVs, including unexpected failure rates and other testing results. Presumably BP and others have analyzed this data. What specific trends have been identified as a result of analyzing this data? Please provide this information for both summer and winter results. Have any trends been identified that are significant from an operational, maintenance, or managerial point of view? If so, what are they? If this data has not been analyzed or trended on a regular basis, please explain why this has not been undertaken. Also, what are the potential operational implications, if any, of failing to analyze such data on a regular basis?

 

2. Have specific recommendations been made to senior management as a result of any identified trend(s)? If so, what are they?

 

3. Have specific reports been made to internal management or to all relevant State regulators as a result of such analysis? If so, please provide a description of each of those reports and to whom they were sent.

 

4. What operational implications, if any, has BP raised regarding all aspects of testing the SSVs in the Western Operating Area? Does BP believe these valves have been adequately maintained over the past five years? Does the testing data support that claim?

 

 Prepared by the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce

2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

May 14, 2001

Congressman John Dingell letter to Mr. Robert Malone, Regional President Western U.S., British Petroleum, regarding the investigation of the safety of BP's north slope operations

 

Found below and at:

http://archives.energycommerce.house.gov/press/107ltr56.shtml

May 14, 2001

Mr. Robert Malone
Regional President Western U.S.
British Petroleum
Office - PAC-2015
333 South Hope Street
Los Angeles, California 90071

 

Dear Mr. Malone:

 

As you know, during my tenure in the 1980's and early 1990's as chairman of this Committee, members and staff investigated a number of serious allegations related to the Trans Alaskan Pipeline. Those investigations and followup hearings found a number of serious shortcomings. Many corrective actions were taken by the owner companies (particularly under your leadership) as well as by state and federal regulators.

 

Recently, new allegations -- this time relating to BPs Prudhoe Bay operations -- have been reported to me, and have also been disclosed by certain publications such as the Wall Street Journal. I appreciate your responsiveness in working closely with Committee staff to explain these matters. I have now received a letter setting forth several specific questions and concerns related to BPs North Slope operations. I ask you to review and respond to this enclosed letter.

 

We have not independently verified either the accuracy or the significance of these claims. Moreover, it is also difficult to independently assess whether existing regulatory agencies -- as alluded to in these allegations -- have the resources, the capability, or the will to ensure that all North Slope systems are operating safely, and are being adequately maintained.

I look forward to hearing from you on these matters. If you have any questions, you know you can contact me directly, or continue working with Christopher Knauer, Minority Professional Staff Member, at 202-226-3400.

Sincerely,


JOHN D. DINGELL
RANKING MEMBER

Enclosure

http://archives.energycommerce.house.gov/press/letter.pdf

cc: The Honorable W. J. "Billy" Tauzin, Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce

The Honorable Gale A. Norton, Secretary
Department of the Interior

Prepared by the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce

2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515