Journalism in the Public Interest

Oil Spill Investigators Say Access to Data Is Being Blocked

Investigators working to piece together the data that workers on the Deepwater Horizon saw in the rig’s final hours have run into a roadblock, according to a letter sent Monday to the presidential panel’s commissioners.

A company called National Oilwell Varco, an offshore drilling company, provided the data displays aboard the rig and is standing in the way of the investigators’ effort to reconstruct data displays similar to the ones on the rig using data supplied by BP, the investigators said:

For over a month, we have attempted to elicit NOV’s assistance on this matter. They have been generally uncooperative, either in the form of refusal or delay.

“The men who know the precise answers to those questions … are deceased,” wrote investigator Fred Bartlit. “All we have is the data. We request your assistance in obtaining NOV’s cooperation.”

National Oilwell Varco, in a statement, said it rejected the investigators’ requests out of concern that trying to recreate the displays could produce a “misleading picture of what actually happened.”

Read the investigators' letter.

Inform our investigations: Do you have information or expertise relevant to this story? Help us and journalists around the country by sharing your stories and experiences.

Georga Grivois

Dec. 7, 2010, 5:15 p.m.

This has been the typical responce from all sourceas related to the BP Spill. Those who know the truth have either been bullied, bribed or berated and yet our Leaders seem not to care about BP’s irresponsiblity and callousness toward American Citizens whose lives were utterly destroyed. Now comes the part where many are seriously ill from Cleanup participation, contaminated water and food and effects of air borne Corexit residue.It will be years before the final truth about the extent of the devastation !

No surprise with the GCCF claims process either.

Keeping a Claim Details information file restricted from Claims Holders, but available to other entities outside the process, and BP.

After the GCCF IT department pulled access, I found a work around, gained access and downloaded a up to date file pdf at 44mb, and 5K pages.  I called the Feinberg & Rozen office in Washington DC to ask why the access to the file was denied to claims holders, they said there was aproblem with the file. I said there was no problem beyond the url being changes, in response Feinberg & Rozen ordered the file access address to be changed one more time. The Claims Detail Information PDF has not been accessible by Claimants since, November 18th 2010, the day of my call to the GCCF, and Feinberg & Rozen.

I can’t say that the denial of my six month EAP was in response to my questioning the integrity of the GCCF cliams process, it was probably a coincidence.

In reality the GCCF generated Claimants Bill of Rights, has zero remedy once a rights violation has been proven. It is in a word propaganda posted to appease the Justice Department, President Obama, and the media.

A claims denial rate of 75% is what BP wants Feinberg & Rozen to achieve, they are well on the way with a 67% denial rate as of today.

This is shameful behavior by any standard.

According to NOV (, they have some guiding principals…“We are dedicated to providing products that lead the industry with safety and the environment in mind, while operating our business for the benefit and wellbeing of our employees, customers, general public, and countries where we work.”
Let me translate…“We pretend to give a s&$#, but in reality our focus is to keep our stock price up and our shareholders happy”.

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