New WikiLeaks cables detail BP blowout in Azerbaijan 1.5 years before Gulf disaster

Wikileaks made good on their promise to continue disseminating leaked US diplomatic cables, even as founder Julian Assange remains in a London jail tonight.

The Guardian reports that a new set of leaked US documents show "striking resemblances between BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm 18 months beforehand."

250px-Europe_location_AZE.pngThe cables reveal that some of BP's partners in the gas field were upset that the company was so secretive about the incident that it even allegedly withheld information from them. They also say that BP was lucky that it was able to evacuate its 212 workers safely after the incident, which resulted in two fields being shut and output being cut by at least 500,000 barrels a day with production disrupted for months. Other cables leaked tonight claim that the president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing $10bn of oil from his country and using "mild blackmail" to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region.

WikiLeaks cables: BP suffered blowout on Azerbaijan gas platform (