Friday, October 29, 2010


"Halliburton Co. found repeated problems with the cement it was planning to install in BP PLC's doomed oil well but used it anyway—perhaps without alerting BP—according to federal investigators studying the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Halliburton tests showed that cement similar to that used to seal BP's Macondo well would be unstable, but neither BP nor Halliburton acted on the data before the blowout, according to new documents. Siobhan Hughes joins the News Hub to discuss.

The cement was supposed to seal the well and prevent explosive natural gas from flowing in. Why the seal failed has been a central question in the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and set off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The investigators' findings brought new scrutiny to Halliburton, which until now has escaped most of the blame for the disaster. Halliburton's stock price tumbled 8% on the news closing at $31.68 on the New York Stock Exchange, despite the company's assurance that it was indemnified by BP for damages.

Both Halliburton and BP declined to comment Thursday. Halliburton has previously blamed BP for failing to heed its advice on the design of the well and failing to do all the necessary tests, while BP has said that Halliburton's cement mixture itself was to blame.

Investigators cautioned that their findings don't let BP off the hook, noting that cement failures are relatively common. It is up to the well's owner—BP, in the case of this well, called Macondo—to test the cement and fix any problems, they noted.

"The story of the blowout does not turn solely on the quality of the Macondo cement job," investigators wrote in a letter to members of the presidential commission probing the disaster.

Other seals and valves higher up the well also should have stopped the flow of explosive natural gas. Workers from BP and Transocean Ltd., which owned the rig, failed to detect gas entering the well, and misinterpreted a key test that should have revealed problems. Another important test was never done."
Wall Street Journal

Our favorite villain has surfaced once again.

My guess is that before this is over we'll find that everyone involved in the blowout from corporations to the government will have had a hand in the failure. Companies cutting corners and regulators being bought. No surprise here.

The real surprise will be if anyone besides some low level sacrificial goat is ever prosecuted much less held accountable for this. No execs or high level government officials will ever be arrested much less brought before the courts. And that's the way it works in America today.

One law for them, another for us.

1 comment:

  1. General Electric's MS NBC was blaming Dick Cheney for BP's blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, I guess because he was once in charge of Halliburton.

    No wonder General Electric can't get any US nuclear utility to buy its ESBWR nuclear design.