Gulf Oil-Spill Investigator Disputes Claims That BP, Halliburton Chose Money Over Safety

BP Gulf oil spillThe lead investigator for the presidential panel investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster refuted previous reports that the rig's majority owner BP (BP) and contractor Halliburton (HAL) compromised safety by cutting corners during the rig's construction, The New York Times reports.

"We have not found a situation where we can say a man had a choice between safety and dollars and put his money on dollars," the newspaper reported, citing a presentation by Fred Bartlit, Jr., the lead investigator. "We are not making any legal judgments on liability, negligence or gross negligence or any legal issues at all."

While the commission, appointed by President Barack Obama, has found that cement problems for the 18,000-foot-deep well were a major cause of the accident, Bartlit said the structure's complex system makes it impossible to target a single flaw that would've caused the disaster, according to the Times.

On Oct. 28, the federal commission investigating the disaster issued a scathing report, saying BP and its cement contractor Halliburton knew that test results for the cement to be used as a plug for the bottom of the oil well showed the cement was unstable, according to a letter that Bartlit gave to the commission, the Times reported at the time.

According to the letter, Halliburton conducted four tests on the cement slurry, two in February and two in April. One of the February reports was provided to BP in March, but there was no indication that Halliburton flagged the foam stability data and no indication BP raised questions about the results. The second February test also produced results that showed the cement slurry would be unstable.

BP, which took a second-quarter charge of $32.2 billion to account for expenses relating to the explosion, said on Nov. 2 that it returned to profitability during the third quarter, though still took a $7.7 billion pre-tax charge related to the explosion.

The April 20 explosion killed 11 workers and spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, creating widespread damage to the ecosystem along the Gulf Coast and creating billions of dollars of economic damage to the region's fishing, shellfish and tourism industries. BP owns 65% of the rig.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What are Penny Stocks

The lucrative and dangerous world of penny stocks.

View Course »

Asset Allocation

Learn the most important step in structuring an investment portfolio.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

The source of this disaster is the current organizational theory used by all large companies. The Team approach. Each company performs its work using a "team of experts", all coordinating and communicating within itself and all other "teams" to complete the larger task. And, the big flaw, all teams relying on each other. So, what happens is that there is a sophisticated, complicated project, and a team cannot find its solution, so it furnishes an inadequate solution to the effort, knowing that the larger team will have solutions from other teams to compensate for its lack of one. But, on state-of-the-art projects, other teams will also have inadequate solutions, and pass them on, thinking that the larger team will save them. Thus, in total, all the teams produce inadequate solutions, resulting in a bad final answer. Now, in the team approach, the rule is for no individual to be critical of anyone or any team decision, so no alarm is raised. The team solution absolves any individual from a bad result. Likewise, the team approach conceals bad results from the project manager or any individual and resolves him from responsibility. It is a situation of where no one knows anything. You can see that from the report and the fact that this disaster has so quickly disappeared from the news. Another interesting thing is that after a project like this is completed, almost no records will be retain. Thus, a world class project will be reduced to about 2 folders of paper and a few hundred drawings which will be intentionally neglectfully lost in a few cad files.

November 09 2010 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

YOu don't have to have much experience with American popular culture (brought us by the crappy media we have) to know that it is natural for us to believe that there is a conspiracy with BP's clean up. No matter how many people say it ain't so we have to believeit . Ironically, that carries over for Obama. We would have no trouble believing that with Bush in office because we were always told that Bush, who was the President of the Texas Ranger baseball team and Gov of TX, had to be owned by oil. But now, we have Obama who was the darling of the green indicating that green liberals are just as stupid as redneck conservatives, was in bed with BP. The biggest problem for the people on the Gulf was that the news people needed doom and gloom and reported destroyed beaches, poor shrimpers and ruined ecology but in fact it was not bad and the shrimp fleet went back out and caught clean shrimp and most beaches were OK. Not bad enough forthe media, they needed disaster to build the amount they could charge for commercial time. Obama did appear to be more close to the oil people though, mostly because shortly before this disaster he granted the greatest number of offshore drilling permits than did the last five Presidents combined (including those Bush oil boys)l;

November 09 2010 at 8:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bulls**t!!!! Are they really going to try to make us believe that money wasn't the biggest factors in their choices for clean-up? This is disgusting. They went day-by-day on how they are handling things. They chose a solution that makes the affected areas worse than it began! I mean, this is supremely bad politics. This is where we, as Americans, need to stand up against this. I believe that Americans need to start voting smarter. This is going to happen again. Especially since there are already contracts approved for areas that most will likely have the same outcome as the Gulf. Smarten up people cause we all know this is crap and we need to not tolerate this kind of stupidity and greed anymore. The politics are greedy based!!! Hello?!?!?!?!?!

November 09 2010 at 8:46 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I wonder how much "hush money" BP and Halliburton had to pay to get this report?

November 09 2010 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Investigator disputes claim of cutting corners, huh? I wondered how long it was going to take those responsible for cutting corners to find this guy. Took them long enough. I wonder where they finally found him.

November 09 2010 at 8:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Anyone who saw the show on PBS (originally aired on the BBC show "Panorama") knows that corners were cut, because rig workers overheard a manager yelling on his cellphone to one of the "Guys in London", saying "I told you this would happen-are you happy now?" or something very similar. BP has been so busy defending themselves one wonders if they get the message

November 08 2010 at 11:20 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Pay attention people, Dems and Repubs are in the pocket of big money. Oil,banking ,defense contractors,pharma,you name it. All your adult life you have been told of the enemies of Freedom. Russia , communism, muslims,dope addict,cubans , liberals or conservatives, Al-quida ,Saddam ,Bin liden,etc.The gov't ,not some outside element, is the enemy of freedom. It is called the big lie.Wake up! No matter if it is Obama or bush,or whoever, The enemy of the people is the power behind the throne. Money.

November 08 2010 at 10:04 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

come on now there was nothing wrong with the rigs construction (DeepWaterHorizon) , it was the laspe in safety in order too save money, that was the root cause of the problem , it just doesn.t pay to cut corners.

November 08 2010 at 9:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Do the Math. Up until the Oil Spill the Marine Management Sevices which is an Agency of the Department of the Interior was accepting gifts from the Oil companies it was supposed to Regulate. It is a Presidential Commission that is making this decision.

November 08 2010 at 9:35 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply


November 08 2010 at 9:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply