Business, Finance & Economics

New report blames BP for gulf oil spill disaster (VIDEO)


A Louisiana National Guard blackhawk flies over marshland on April 19, 2011 in route to Middle Ground in southern Louisiana. A year after the BP oil spill coated Gulf coast marshes and beaches, BP claims that most of the oil has been removed. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries says, however, that much of the cleaning has been superficial.


John Moore

A new report blasts BP management for decisions that possibly led to last year’s devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.

The report says BP was negligent in the placement of a cement seal on the Macondo well that was put in place just a day before the explosion, the AP reports.

The oil rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 workers and unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history — about 200 million gallons, or 5 million barrels, of crude gushed from the seabed.

Other investigations have blamed other factors, including faulty data readings and the failure of the well’s blowout preventer.

But this report, by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement, the agency that regulates offshore drilling, places most responsibility on BP executives, who made decisions that complicated the sealing of the well and made the operation risky.

According to Bloomberg:

A 212-page report issued today by a joint Interior Department-Coast Guard panel paints a picture of a management team in disarray when it was supposed to be monitoring and directing the "critical" final stages of drilling the well 40 miles (62 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast.

BP managers overseeing the well, Bloomberg adds, "were distracted by cost overruns and personal conflicts" in the weeks before the disaster.

While BP as operator of the well was "ultimately responsible," other companies shared the blame, the AP reports:

Rig owner Transocean was accused of being deficient in preventing or limiting the disaster, in part by bypassing alarms and automatic shutdown systems. Halliburton, the contractor responsible for mixing and testing the cement, was faulted as well.