"The names, locations and geographical coordinates are different. Otherwise the drilling plans for three oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico contain identical fonts, footnotes, overly optimistic projections and even typographical errors.
The companies employed the same small Houston consulting firm, R.E.M. Solutions, to prepare environmental information to submit to federal regulators for drill sites hundreds of miles from each other. R.E.M.'s analyses read like photocopies, each saying 11 times that an oil spill was 'unlikely to have an impact based on the industry wide standards for using proven equipment and technology for such responses.'
The Obama administration has cracked down on oil companies and federal regulators for the failures that led to the BP spill, but the private consulting firms that helped prepare many Gulf drilling plans have received far less scrutiny. A McClatchy review of plans approved by the Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service in 2009 and 2010 found that consultants were widely used but that in nearly all cases they wrote plans with the same flaws that experts and members of Congress have identified in BP's."