BP, running weeks behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget in trying to complete its troubled Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, took many shortcuts that contributed to the disastrous blowout and oil spill there last year, federal investigators concluded in a report released on Wednesday.
The central cause of the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was a failure of the cement at the base of the 18,000-foot-deep well that was supposed to contain oil and gas within the well bore. That led to a cascade of human and mechanical errors that allowed natural gas under tremendous pressure to shoot onto the drilling platform, causing an explosion and fire that killed 11 of the 126 crew members and caused an oil spill that took 87 days to get under control.
The two-part report, compiled by a joint task force of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and the Coast Guard and covering more than 500 pages, is the most comprehensive to date on the April 2010 disaster. Its findings largely mirror those of other investigations, including the inquiry by a commission named by President Obama to determine the causes of the calamity. That panel issued its findings in January.
“The loss of life at the Macondo site on April 20, 2010, and the subsequent pollution of the Gulf of Mexico through the summer of 2010 were the result of poor risk management, last-minute changes to plans, failure to observe and respond to critical indicators, inadequate well control response and insufficient emergency bridge response training by companies and individuals responsible for drilling at the Macondo well and for the operation of the Deepwater Horizon,” the latest report said.
The report concluded that BP, as the well’s owner, was ultimately responsible for the accident. But it also said that BP’s chief contractors, Transocean, which owned the mobile drilling rig, and Halliburton, which was responsible for the cementing operations, shared the blame for many of the fatal mistakes.”
Somewhere, Andy Heyward is wiping his arse with a copy of this report.
R.J. Matson / Roll Call
Jeff Parker / Florida Today
“Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record. …we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company’s history.”
A spokesman told the Wall St. Journal "The statements of fact in the proxy speak for themselves, but they do not and can not adequately convey the extent to which everyone at Transocean is keeping the families of the men who lost their lives at Macondo in their thoughts and prayers as we approach the first anniversary of the incident."
That spokesman and his company are so full of fucking shit.
“You gave yourselves a safety bonus because, statistically, the Deepwater Horizon explosion, killing 11 people, pumping 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf (of Mexico) counts the same as ‘Bob cut his hand on a bolt’?”
JON STEWART, reacting to Transocean executives awarding themselves bonuses for what they called their “best year in safety performance,” on The Daily Show.
Hey, let’s ask the families of those eleven workers how much Transocean and BP gave them. You know, for the companies murdering their loved ones during their “best year in safety performance.”
The BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April, 2010. Now, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of that horrific environmental disaster — which also killed 11 of BP’s own workers — guess who wants to start drilling again? From The Washington Post:
BP is in talks with the Interior Department about permits that would allow it to resume deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. The company hopes that it can restart several projects sometime this summer.
The discussions come just before the anniversary of the April 20 blowout on the Deepwater Horizon rig that BP leased for an exploration well called Macondo. The blowout killed 11 workers, set the rig on fire and triggereda huge oil spill that gushed for 87 days.
BP hopes to ultimately obtain permission to begin drilling about 10 wells to boost output in fields that are already producing oil; none of them would be an exploration well, one of the sources said. No work would be done in the near future on the field discovered by the Macondo well.
Discussions with Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) about other BP wells are still underway, focusing on BP’s safety program. Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the agency, said that BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich meets regularly with companies to discuss their operations and that “BP is no different.”
(Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP via The Washington Post)
In several editorial cartoons in late 1973, I suggested that while oil companies were eying the tempting drilling tracts opening up in the Gulf, they still needed to persuade the public that they intended to do no harm. I showed how drilling platforms could be disguised to look like something they were not. Such an idea is not entirely unthinkable, since in some urban areas today one sees cell phone repeater “trees” decorated to look like actual trees, with fake pine-tree-like branches.
The illustration above is his; more here.
CAP LOCK Welders worked on a BP oil recovery system chamber in Port Fourchon, La., on Monday. The four-story, 70-ton tower and dome - which is to be lowered onto one of three leaks on the Gulf of Mexico’s seabed - will allow workers to capture escaping oil and pump it to the surface. (Photo: Sean Gardner / Reuters via the New York Times)