This is a couple years ago but it’s the first time I seen the full "Dancing to the Village People email exchange
On April 17, 2010, BP’s Houston-based “Wells Team Leader” for the Macondo well, John Guide, e-mailed David Sims, another Houston-based BP executive and Guide’s boss:
- David, over the past four days there has been so many last minute changes to the operation that the WSL’s [BP’s rig-based Well Site Leaders] have finally come to their wits end. The quote is ‘flying by the seat of our pants.’ Moreover, we have made a special boat or helicopter run every day. Everybody wants to do the right thing, but, this huge level of paranoia from engineering leadership is driving chaos. This operation is not Thunderhorse. Brian [BP’s Brian Morel, a Houston-based engineer] has called me numerous times trying to make sense of all the insanity. Last night’s emergency evolved around the 30 [barrels] of cement spacer behind the top plug and how it would affect any bond logging (I do not agree with putting the spacer above the plug to begin with). This morning Brian called me and asked my advice about exploring opportunities both inside and outside of the company. What is my authority? With the separation of engineering and operations, I do not know what I can and can’t do. The operation is not going to succeed if we continue in this manner. (end)
The same day, David Sims responded to Guide’s e-mail.
- John, I’ve got to go to dance practice in a few minutes. Let’s talk this afternoon. . . . We’ve both [been] in Brian’s position before. The same goes for him. We need to remind him that this is a great learning opportunity, it will be over soon, and that the same issues - or worse - exist anywhere else . . . I’ll be back soon and we can talk. We’re dancing to the Village People. (end)