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Gulf Spill Blamed On Poor Management, Bad Cement Job, Other Missteps

Sep 14, 2011

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"A key federal report blames poor management, key missteps and a faulty cement job by BP and others for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history and the deaths of 11 rig workers," The Associated Press reports.

The conclusions reached by the Coast Guard/Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement investigation follow another probe by a presidential panel, as NPR's Debbie Elliott has reported, which blamed the April 2010 spill "on a series of time- and money-saving decisions and management missteps by Transocean, BP and Halliburton." Other investigations have come to similar conclusions.

Deb will have more on today's report later.

Update at 10:35 a.m. ET: The report and related documents are now posted here.

In a statement, the investigators say that "BP, Transocean and Halliburton's conduct in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster violated a number of federal offshore safety regulations."

And in Volume II, they write that:

"The loss of life at the Macondo site on April 20, 2010, and the subsequent pollution of the Gulf of Mexico through the summer of 2010 were the result of poor risk management, last-minute changes to plans, failure to observe and respond to critical indicators, inadequate well control response, and insufficient emergency bridge response training by companies and individuals responsible for drilling at the Macondo well and for the operation of the Deepwater Horizon.

"BP, as the designated operator under BOEMRE regulations, was ultimately responsible for conducting operations at Macondo in a way that ensured the safety and protection of personnel, equipment, natural resources, and the environment. Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, was responsible for conducting safe operations and for protecting personnel onboard.

"Halliburton, as a contractor to BP, was responsible for conducting the cement job, and, through its subsidiary (Sperry Sun), had certain responsibilities for monitoring the well. Cameron was responsible for the design of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer ('BOP') stack."

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