November 20, 2017

BP spreads the blame for Gulf oil spill

Deepwater Horizon - A burning beacon to greed and complacency.

After months as the sole target of public and governmental wrath about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has released a 193 page internal investigation report that points the finger of blame at other companies involved.

BP says that a “sequence of failures involving a number of different parties” was to blame for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.”

With the spill clean up bill going past $8 Billion and vast slicks of lawsuits gathering this is an opportune time for BP to start sharing the spotlight of responsibility.

It took three months to turn the tap off following the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil well in April 2010. An estimated 4.9m barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of mexico.

BP says that decisions made by “multiple companies and work teams” contributed to the accident, which it said arose from “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgements, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.” Well thats good – glad they cleared that up so succinctly.

In short what BP are saying is that “we are not alone” in the universe of blame. Newswarped thinks that a few more trees might have been saved if BP just reported on what did function correctly, then a tidy three page report would have been easier to digest and we could just assume that everything else was a complete cock-up.

The short version is that BP claims that Halliburton did a poor quality cement job at the base of the well which caused gas and oil to leak and rise to the surface in the production casing. Tests which would have alerted staff on the rig were wrongly interpreted by the Transocean crew on the surface. The blowout preventer near the surface was not working. Gas started to leak into the rig for 40 minutes which staff did not notice, and it eventually ignited.

Maybe the Mob – who are experts in using cement in a marine environment could advise Halliburton on how to do better in the future.

BP was leasing the Deepwater Horizon rig from Transocean, who have been quick to respond to allegations of negligence by claiming that BP’s well design was”fatally flawed.” They said “in both its design and construction, BP made a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk – in some cases, severely.”

The money for the clean-up and lawsuits might seem like a lot, but in the oil industry they could probably find most of it in the petty cash tin.

The real losers are the family and friends of the workers who died and the small business people in the Gulf area who lost months of income.