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Drilling Plans Raise Concerns

Maritime safety analysts are concerned about the decision to give Chevron permission to begin drilling activities in September off the coast of Scotland. The company has admitted that its contractor’s spill protection software is unstable, has frequently crashed and cannot be taken as a reliable predictor of the extent of an oil spill should one occur.

BP seriously consider data from its own software that indicated that the well was unstable contributing to the Gulf of Mexico explosion earlier this year. Chevron has admitted that it has serious computing software problems. These concerns were outlined in confidential documents that were sent to the Department Of Energy and Climate Change. In spite of this, the company was given the go-ahead to begin drilling.

Chevron’s Oil Spill Information System was only able to predict up to two weeks of data after crashing multiple times. According to Chevron, the company could require as many as four weeks to cap the well in case of an oil spill in good weather. The waters of the North Sea are known for their rough conditions during winter.

Preliminary data indicates that any deepwater blowout at the Chevron-operated Lagavulin oil rig off the coast of Scotland could lead to an oil spill of more than 1 million barrels of oil over the first couple of weeks causing concern about the possible impact on the coast of eastern England and Scotland, Norway and even as far as Iceland and Greenland.

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