Today BP did some finger pointing as to what caused the blow out on their deep well drilling platform in the gulf back in April. The blow out led to an explosion and fire killing 11 people and ultimately the sinking of the platform … which created the largest crude oil spill in U.S. history.
The man who has lost his job as BP CEO over this accident, Tony Hayward, delivered the report today which in summary says that the accident was a result of multiple failures in equipment and decision making.
He implicated both contractors Transocean and Haliburton who were working on the platform with BP as being responsible for some, or most of the failures.
Transocean immediately responded by slamming the report in a statement “This is a self-serving report that attempts to conceal the critical factor that set the stage for the Macondo incident: BP’s fatally flawed well design. In both its design and construction, BP made a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk,”.
BP has had other accidents in the past at their refineries and elsewhere where their safety procedures have been attacked as being inadequate in order to cut costs.
In the report Hayward denied that the well design BP insisted on using over the protests of its contractors was the cause of the accident. The BP investigation revealed that hydrocarbons did not leak into the well around the cemented casing due to a defective well design but instead got into the well through the bottom of the pipe.
It was the failure of the crew to monitor the hydrocarbon buildup properly and to take preventive action during a 40 minute period that allowed the explosive gases to reach the deck of the drilling platform which caused the blast. No mention here as to why the blow out preventer didn’t work.
BP has also been criticized by not monitoring well pressures itself from a centralized location like some other oil companies do so that dangerous gas levels can be detected before a blow out occurs .