BP, Halliburton knew Gulf oil rig cement was faulty: commission
The presidential commission investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill says BP and its cement contractor, Halliburton knew the cement mixture used in the construction of the well could allow oil leaks.
According to a letter from Fred Bartlit, Jr., the commission's lead investigator, Halliburton carried out four tests of the cement mixture between February and April of this year, shortly before the rig exploded, and three of them showed the mixture to be faulty. A fourth, final one showed the mixture to work, but BP apparently only ever saw the results of one of the tests -- one that failed.
According to the letter, the cement was poured to stabilize the well on April 19 and 20, the day of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig above that killed 11 workers and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
"Halliburton and BP both had results in March showing that a very similar foam slurry design to the one actually pumped at the Macondo well would be unstable, but neither acted upon that data," the letter said.
"Halliburton (and perhaps BP) should have considered redesigning the foam slurry before pumping it at the Macondo well," the letter continued.
The news "appears to conflict with statements made by Halliburton Co., which has said its tests showed the cement mix was stable. The company instead has said BP's well design and operations are responsible for the disaster," reports AP.
Two words come to mind to describe what happened: criminal negligence. So why I do I highlight this on the eve of an election where matters of state seem to dominate the headlines more than matters of corporations? Perhaps it is because we so often confuse the two as being the same thing. So many times I've heard that the election next week is a referendum on President Obama, even though you won't find his name on any ballot. Perhaps it is a fair assessment, there is so much he is responsible for that our Congress has either followed his lead on or obstructed that in a sense it is a referendum on what he has done and whether we should empower those who follow him or those who obstruct.
But one thing President Obama is not responsible for that I resent like hell seeing him get blamed for is the Deepwater Blowout. Those who label this tragic travesty as "Obama's Katrina" are shameless propagandists either ignorant of history or just flat-out lying. The only similarity I see between the two catastrophes is that, like Halliburton, Bush had foreknowledge of the potential for calamity and took no proactive measures to mitigate it. But whereas the New Orleans levees fell under the purview of government responsibility, Deepwater Horizon was a 100% corporate operation, therefore 100% of the responsibility for damage associated with 4.9 million barrels of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding areas lies with the corporations involved. Period. Any suggestion otherwise is either financed by or plays into the hands of the same guilty corporatists eager to make you, the American public, absolve them of their crimes this coming Tuesday.
More on that in my next blog post.