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BP report shares out the blame for Gulf of Mexico oil spill tragedy

Published: 12:53PM BST 08 Sep 2010

BP blamed a poor cement job and mistakes by contractors for the worst oil spill in US history, in an internal report into the Deepwater Hiorzon disaster.

No single factor caused the Macondo well tragedy that led to the explosion and fire which killed 11 people and caused widespread pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil company said in the report.

The report concluded that decisions made by “multiple companies and work teams” contributed to the accident, these included a poor cement job by Halliburton and mistakes by rig operator Transocean.

BP defended its much-criticised well design and said failures on the rig, operated by Transocean, led to gas swamping the platform and creating the conditions for the explosion.

“Over a 40-minute period, the Transocean rig crew failed to recognise and act on the influx of hydrocarbons into the well,” BP said in a statement.

Tony Hayward, the outgoing chief executive, said: “To put it simply, there was a bad cement job and a failure of the shoe track barrier at the bottom of the well, which let hydrocarbons from the reservoir into the production casing.

“The negative pressure test was accepted when it should not have been, there were failures in well control procedures and in the blow-out preventer; and the rig’s fire and gas system did not prevent ignition.”

Mr Hayward said it appeared unlikely that the well design contributed to the incident.

BP shares, which have fallen 36pc since the explosion on April 20, rose 2pc after the report.

The company proposed a total of 25 recommendations designed to prevent a recurrence.

These are focused on strengthening assurance on blow-out preventers, well control, pressure-testing for well integrity, emergency systems, cement testing, rig audit and verification, and the competence of workers.



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