The National Commission on the BP Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling released a report in January 2011 to the President of the United States indicating that the April 20th, 2011 Deep Water Horizon’s explosion and the resulting oil spill at the Macondo well was a foreseeable and preventable disaster. The Commission’s report indicated that a number of easily identifiable mistakes by British Petroleum, Transocean, and Halliburton ultimately led to the devastating oil spill which lasted 87 days and dumped an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. (Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster…).
The Commission’s report along with investigation teams from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement as well as the United States Coast Guard reveled that several budget saving short cuts in combination with gross negligence were the root causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and thus the direct cause of the oil spill from the Macondo well. These investigative reports found that 1) British Petroleum “short-cutted” and used a single long string casing that is designed for use in extracting oil rather than following protocol and installing liner hangers. This decision was made after an internal British Petroleum cementing expert was brought in to investigate the suggestion by Halliburton’s experts to use a “liner” (Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster... 95-96). 2) British Petroleum placed only six centralizers (that were immediately available) in the tube, blatantly ignoring the fact that the model called for at least sixteen and sub sequential testing suggested that twenty-one centralizers be used (Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster… 96-97). 3) There was no bond test or log done to measure the integrity of the cement slurry before pouring of the well began. British Petroleum knowingly sent the testing crew home before it could analyze the durability and integrity of the cement used in the Macondo Well. 4) The rig...
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