NEW ORLEANS - BP made a series of money-saving shortcuts and blunders that dramatically increased the danger of a destructive oil spill in a well that an engineer ominously described as a "nightmare" just six days before the blowout, according to documents released Monday that provide new insight into the causes of the disaster.
The House Energy and Commerce
BP started drilling in October, only to have the rig damaged by Hurricane Ida a month later. The company switched to the Deepwater
As BP found itself in a frantic race against time to get the job done, engineers cut corners in the well design, cementing and drilling mud efforts and the installation of safety devices known as "lockdown sleeves" and "centralizers," according to congressional investigators.
In the design of the well, the company apparently chose a riskier option among two possibilities to provide a barrier to the flow of gas in space surrounding steel tubes in the well, documents and internal e-mails show. The decision saved BP $7 million to $10 million; the original cost estimate for the well was about $96 million.
BP also apparently rejected advice of a subcontractor, Halliburton Inc., in preparing for a cementing job to close up the well. BP rejected Halliburton's recommendation to use 21 "centralizers" to make sure the casing ran down the center of the well bore. Instead, BP used six centralizers.
In an e-mail on April 16, a BP official involved in the decision explained: "It will take 10 hours to install them. I do not like this." Later that day, another official recognized the risks of proceeding with insufficient centralizers but commented: "Who cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine."
The lawmakers also said BP also decided against a nine- to 12-hour procedure known as a "cement bond log" that would have tested the integrity of the cement. A team from Schlumberger, an oil services firm, was on board the rig, but BP sent the team home on a regularly scheduled helicopter flight the morning of April 20.
[chessdev] NICE!! They cut corners on basic safety precautions... chose the riskier of 2 options that was cheaper...
and then STILL f**ked up estimates almost every step of the way in trying to fix this mess. And there are people trying to argue for CAPPING their liability and damages??
THIS is the point where I start to expect to see upper managers starting to face jail time. This is not just ecological damage, but dont forget we had 11 people die in that explosion too. And with a decision to cut corners on safety precautions -- a defense will be much harder to mount.
What galls me is that BP is still making it difficult to collect money for people who they've agreed to award it to -- even at the end of all this shit, they're still a greedy corporation to the very end...although one that seems to be defended by the British government.