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BP Spill Update: The BlameGame Starts

May 12, 2010

I am reposting the above BP spill animation from my previous post. The animation is courtesy of and shows the oil spill using actual overflight information and projections are based upon NOAA models. The Senate hearing to discuss the BP spill and future offshore drilling started yesterday where executives of three companies in question testified- BP, Transocean and Halliburton. And no points for guessing, the blame game has already started and each company is blaming the other for the disaster. BP owns the well while Transocean is a subcontractor which was given permission to drill the well for BP. And Halliburton is another subcontractor which injected cement and other fluids into the hole before the explosion. BP blames Transocean, Transocean blames Halliburton and Halliburton blames BP.

Three executives from the three principal companies working on the well all blamed each other.

BP , which owns the well and subcontracted the other companies to work on it, said it was Transocean’s job to ensure that the blowout preventer was functioning. Transocean was the owner of the drilling rig that sunk, the Deepwater Horizon, and also owned the blowout preventer.

Transocean said the blowout preventer worked just fine in tests, and that it may have gotten jammed with concrete or other well fluids that were injected by a third contractor, causing the well to explode. Either way, argued Transocean’s president, it was the faulty well, not the rig or the blowout preventer, that ultimately caused the leak.

Halliburton was the third contractor; it injected cement and other well fluids into the hole before the explosion. But a Halliburton exec said it was only following the orders of BP, which wanted a heavier fluid, known as mud, removed from the well before the well was capped with a concrete plug.[CNN]

CNN also reports that BP was aware of the problems hours before the disaster happened on April 20th, as the well failed a critical pressure test. Only these companies know and can tell as to why the operation continued even after identification of pressure failure. BP being the owner of the well, is supposed to pay (and even has been pledged by BP ) for the cleanup under Federal law which can run into billions dollars.

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