Workers on BP Rig Could Have Averted Disaster

No one asked visiting engineers about problematic test results
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2011 6:09 AM CST
BP Workers Could Have Averted Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Disaster: Report
This April 21, 2010 file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, off the southeast tip of Louisiana.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Experts on the BP Deepwater Horizon rig could have prevented last year’s huge oil spill—but no one checked with them, said the White House commission investigating the matter. A knowledgeable BP engineer was visiting the rig, but when a key pressure test returned odd results, workers didn’t ask him about them, Reuters reports. “If anyone had consulted him or any other shore-based engineer, the blowout might never have happened,” said the commission.

The test’s misreading was a central factor in the explosion. “The sad fact is that this was an entirely preventable disaster,” said the commission’s head. The new report, released yesterday, also says that despite years of known problems with the Halliburton engineer for the Macondo well, BP engineers didn’t closely examine his work. Meanwhile, the oil and gas that prompted the blowout “almost certainly” should have been blocked by Halliburton cement. (More BP oil spill stories.)

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