THE SIMPLE TRUTH a Novel
On a quiet Tuesday evening, 20 April 2010, leaders aboard Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig ran pressure tests to determine if BP’s deep Macondo oil well was leak free, or if the well needed additional work. Based on the test data, BP leaders concluded the Macondo well was secure.
They were wrong.
The resulting blowout and fire later that night killed eleven, injured scores, sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the mile-deep Gulf of Mexico, and left behind mourning families, an epic oil spill, and a $60-billion feeding frenzy among litigators, regulators, companies, politicians, journalists, academics, and environmentalists.
Though the catastrophe birthed a long list of serious questions about one of the most lethal, costly, man-made, environmental disasters in history, THE SIMPLE TRUTH focuses on answering a single question: What CAUSED the Macondo blowout?
The footnoted and diagramed book is written as a data-driven story about people, decisions, and life on the Deepwater Horizon, drilling the ever-deeper Macondo well.
Though the data are real and form the foundation of the book, eleven key witnesses died that night and cannot speak for themselves. Hence, the story—a data-driven novel—is driven by surrogate fictional characters, living and working with non-fiction data, aboard a rig destined for the real-world disaster only the reader knows is coming.
The book is available in paperback or Kindle through Amazon, or as a signed copy from the author.
FROM THE PODIUM: The Presentation
Soon after publishing THE SIMPLE TRUTH, I presented my assessment of the CAUSE of the Macondo blowout to a number of energy companies. They appreciated my self-imposed guidelines: just hard data… unencumbered by politics, finger-pointing, he-said-she-said, environmental agonies, media headlines, court findings, company cultures, journalists, attorneys, andalbeit with great difficulty victims, survivors, and Macondo-related leaders. Additional speaking engagements took me to professional societies, environmental groups, safety conferences, civic forums, and petroleum engineering universities.
After I made almost fifty such presentations, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) named me to be a 2015-16 Distinguished Lecturer (DL) and to make my Macondo presentation to thirty SPE sections across the U.S., and in Canada, the U.A.E., Bahrain, England, Scotland, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. My talk carries the title: “Assessing and Applying Petroleum Engineering Data from the 2010 Macondo Blowout.“
FROM THE PODIUM contains all my slides, as well as a composite text derived from my 75 live presentations (late 2012 through my SPE-DL road trip). Because I adlibbed my way through the slides for each presentation, a time-limited 45-minute audience got less technical detail than a 60-minute audience who also allowed extensive Q&A. No such limits in FROM THE PODIUM. Accordingly, the text is comprehensive and further includes key Q&A items frequently addressed when time was not a constraint.
A PDF of FROM THE PODIUM is available for free.