Deepwater Horizon

Fire Boats Dowse The Remnants Of The Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010 (U.S. Coast Guard Photo).

BP has concluded its investigation into the Deepwater Horizon explosion. In their findings, they say that multiple factors are to blame.

The report points fingers toward Halliburton, the cementing contractor, and Transocean, who owns the rig, as the primary culprits.  It lists the use of faulty cement, and a misread pressure test, as two important events that led to the explosion.

The explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon cost 11 men their lives. The broken well then dumped approximately 205 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing one of the worst ecological disasters in history. The three companies involved in the disaster have been blaming each other on and off since the explosion occurred.

BP doesn’t deny that the company has some responsibility in the matter, but the report clearly substantiates that it was not entirely their fault. The rig’s blowout preventer, and the cementing job on the well, both had weaknesses, according to the report. It says that Halliburton used a cement mix that was unstable, and that there was no testing done on the cement. The report indicated that this allowed oil and gas to escape out of the well.

BP didn’t put all of the blame on Halliburton. The head of safety and operations at BP, Mark Bly, stated that if BP and Halliburton had worked well together, they should have ‘identified and addressed the issues’ in the cementing.

The BP investigation will not be the final word on the matter.  Several investigations by government agencies, companies and other organizations, are ongoing. A key piece of evidence, the damaged blowout preventer, which was just recovered last week, was not even considered in this BP investigation.

Transocean called the BP report “self-serving” and says the blame lies with BP’s flawed well design and cost cutting measures.