BP’s Gulf Disaster Report: We Screwed Up Less Than the Other Guys
September 8, 2010
(ChattahBox Business News)— BP, as expected, released the final report of its internal investigation of the Gulf disaster, attributing partial blame to its own employees. But the rest of the eight events and missteps that led to the explosion and massive oil spill, causing one of the worst environmental catastrophes in U.S. history, BP blames on its contractor partners Transocean and Haliburton. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), head of a congressional panel investigating the disaster, responded to the report, by quipping “Of their own eight key findings, they only explicitly take responsibility for half of one,” adding “BP is happy to slice up blame, as long as they get the smallest piece.”
The nearly 200-page report was made available on BP’s website today, accompanied with a video. The report concludes that a complex web of failures caused the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killing 11 workers, which resulted in the blowout of the underwater well, after the blowout preventer also failed.
“A report released by BP today concludes that decisions made by “multiple companies and work teams” contributed to the accident which it says arose from “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.”’
BB claimed partial responsibility for the faulty reading of pressure tests before the explosion.
* The results of the negative pressure test were incorrectly accepted by BP and Transocean, although well integrity had not been established;
Regarding the other errors contributing to the disaster, BP lays the finger of blame on Haliburton’s well cementing and decisions made by Transocean employees:
* Over a 40-minute period, the Transocean rig crew failed to recognise and act on the influx of hydrocarbons into the well until the hydrocarbons were in the riser and rapidly flowing to the surface;
* After the well-flow reached the rig it was routed to a mud-gas separator, causing gas to be vented directly on to the rig rather than being diverted overboard;
* The flow of gas into the engine rooms through the ventilation system created a potential for ignition which the rig’s fire and gas system did not prevent;
* Even after explosion and fire had disabled its crew-operated controls, the rig’s blow-out preventer on the sea-bed should have activated automatically to seal the well. But it failed to operate, probably because critical components were not working.
Former BP CEO Tony Hayward, speaking from a undisclosed location in Siberia, with his life fully restored, released a statement blaming the disaster on multiple parties.
“The investigation report provides critical new information on the causes of this terrible accident. It is evident that a series of complex events, rather than a single mistake or failure, led to the tragedy. Multiple parties, including BP, Halliburton and Transocean, were involved.
“To put it simply, there was a bad cement job and a failure of the shoe track barrier at the bottom of the well, which let hydrocarbons from the reservoir into the production casing. The negative pressure test was accepted when it should not have been, there were failures in well control procedures and in the blow-out preventer; and the rig’s fire and gas system did not prevent ignition.”
Hayward also dismissed speculation that BP’s well design contributed to the disaster. “Based on the report, it would appear unlikely that the well design contributed to the incident, as the investigation found that the hydrocarbons flowed up the production casing through the bottom of the well,” Hayward said.
Haliburton has not commented on the report, but Transocean shot back, calling BP’s report “self-serving” and claiming BP’s well was shoddily designed to cut costs.
“In both its design and construction, BP made a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk — in some cases, severely,” Transocean said.
The entire report can be found here.