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Disaster on the Horizon reviewed in the Washington Post

Bob Cavnar’s book, Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout, was reviewed by Washington Post energy correspondent Steven Mufson in a piece exploring three books written about the BP catastrophe last week. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Bob Cavnar brings an insider’s view to “Disaster on the Horizon,” but not one the industry will like. Cavnar has spent three decades, first on a rig and later as a chief executive, working for drilling companies in Texas, Louisiana and offshore areas. But he has a dim view of many industry practices and blogs about them for the Huffington Post.

Here, he focuses on the oil rig disaster itself and what caused it, constructing a narrative based on extensive testimony at hearings, newspaper accounts and his own experience. He makes a strong case that the spill was caused by human error. “An older engineer taught me, years ago, that wells actually talk to you,” he writes. “In the hours leading up to the disaster, the Well from Hell was screaming at the crew that it was going to blow out, but nobody could understand the language it was speaking.” And he notes that in deep water, “bad situations can escalate very quickly into catastrophes.”

Cavnar ends on a cynical note about whether the government will respond constructively. The reorganization of the Minerals Management Service “created two new bureaucracies rather than fixing the one we had,” he asserts. The moratorium on offshore drilling, he believes, was not long enough. And a policy to improve our energy security “is badly needed and long overdue.”

Read the original article at

Discover more about Disaster on the Horizon by Bob Cavnar in our bookstore now.

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