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2010 July 26 — Why Now?
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Another Layoff

If you can control your gag reflex, the BBC tells us what happens when a CEO gets laid off:

BP is set to announce a record loss, having set aside an estimated £16bn-£19bn ($25bn-$30bn) to cover the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The loss is expected to be one of the biggest in British corporate history.

The BBC has learnt BP chief executive Tony Hayward will get an immediate annual pension worth about £600,000 ($930,000) when he leaves in October.

BBC business editor Robert Peston said that Mr Hayward’s pension entitlement was “bound to be hugely controversial”.

Our business editor said that because he was leaving by mutual agreement rather than being sacked, the BP board felt it had “to honour the terms of its contract with him”.

Mr Hayward will receive a year’s salary plus benefits worth more than £1m.

His pension pot is valued at about £11m and he will keep his rights to shares under a long-term performance scheme which could – depending on BP’s stock market recovery – eventually be worth several million pounds.

The corporation tanks under his watch and he gets more than $1.5 million in severance, and almost a million dollars per year in his pension, rather than any unpaid wages and an application for unemployment for 26 weeks.

Isn’t it touching how executive pensions are sacred, while the pensions of workers are for looting and elimination.

July 26, 2010   8 Comments

End Game?

PBS is reporting that BP could begin the final procedure next week:

BP could begin taking the final steps to try to kill its blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico as soon as next week, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Monday. Allen gave the most specific timeline yet for the well kill procedure, a timeline that would have BP finishing the relief well and beginning the “bottom kill” by Aug. 7.

The company could start pumping mud and cement through the top of the well — the so-called “static kill” — even sooner: next Monday.

McClatchy provides some details on the “static kill”:

On Monday, BP should be able to resume drilling the relief well, the second part of the two-phase process to seal the well permanently.

Workers are simultaneously drilling a relief tunnel to reach two miles under the sea and pump in more cement and mud from the top of well, which could kill it right away. It could take as much as a week before crews begin pumping in the mud and cement, Allen said.

I’m guessing that BP thinks that there would be a problem if they attempted the “static kill” through the existing manifold at the bottom of the blowout preventer, which is why they are intercepting the well below the surface with the second relief well drilling rig. All of the seismic monitoring may have alerted them to a problem layer at the upper levels of the well.

The wording on the depth of the “relief tunnel” doesn’t make it obvious whether it includes or excludes the depth of the water, i.e. whether the tunnel will be intercepting the well at 5,000 feet [included] or 10,000 feet [excluded] below the floor of the Gulf.

July 26, 2010   21 Comments