One year already…

The eighth dead whale to wash ashore in the Western Region since late 2009. The Ghana EPA says there's no connection to oil drilling, but doesn't offer any details to back up the assertion. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Nation.

Yes, Ghana has been an oil producing nation for one year now.

One year on and where do things stand? In terms of environmental oversight, not much has changed and there remains much progress to make.

There are still no details available on November’s oil spill, so for now there’s no way to know if that oil came from a passing tanker or another source.

A study initiated by the Ministry of the Environment, Science and Technology  (MEST) and funded by Kosmos Energy indicates that the country still lacks a “clear environmental mandate” for the oil and gas sector.  The study also cites insufficient resources for regulatory agencies, which is not news for anyone who has been looking at the environmental oversight of Ghana’s oil industry. What’s new is that MEST is publicly acknowledging this.

Let’s hope it leads to something.

Putting money before environmental considerations can have devastating consequences and a new report from the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council (U.S.) indicates that this is just what happened in the years preceding the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the study showed the “multiple flawed decisions that led to a blowout” on the Deepwater Horizon rig resulted from “a deficient overall systems approach to safety” among the corporations that ran the drilling of the Macondo well, including BP, Transocean and Halliburton.

You can read the article, Safety seemed to be an afterthought before the BP oil spill, on the LA Times website.

 

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