BP isn't the only culprit in the Gulf oil spill—Halliburton deserves much of the blame too, according to the first official investigation into the matter. The presidential commission probing the spill said Thursday that both BP and Halliburton knew the cement mixture sealing the well might not hold, but disregarded its flaws.
The New York Times reports that after three laboratory tests of the cement mixture, Halliburton determined it fell short of industry standards. One test which was shared with BP on March 8—more than a month before the spill—revealed the mixture to be unstable. Two subsequent tests showed similar results, but were not delivered to BP.
While the commission did not explicitly name the mixture as the central cause of the blowout, which killed 11 workers and caused one of the largest oil spills in history, an internal investigation by BP identified the cement's instability as a leading factor of the accident. But there's an obvious bias to that story: BP tried to blame Halliburton for the cement job.
Halliburton denied wrongdoing after BP's report. “The well owner is responsible for designing the well program and any testing related to the well,” Halliburton officials said in a recent news release. “Contractors do not specify well design or make decisions regarding testing procedures, as that responsibility lies with the well owner.” The company plans to respond to the official investigation's findings today. We'll see what excuses they come up with this time.
[Photo by the California Department of Fish and Game]