The simile Professor Joe uses is the “Sadim” touch. This blog prefers the image of Bobcat Goldthwait in Scrooged with his double barrel shotgun. Except he is wearing a Dick Cheney mask and has Deep Water Well Drilling Permits stuffed in his back pocket.
On May 9, Climate Progress reported that “an expert reviewer found the well’s cement seal was probably faulty and inadequately tested (to save money).” In a new report the presidential commission that investigated the disaster indicates that BP and Halliburton knew the cement was unstable and used it anyway to ’seal’ the Macondo well.
Halliburton and BP knew weeks before the fatal explosion of the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the bottom of the well was unstable but still went ahead with the job, the presidential commission investigating the accident said on Thursday.
The report has plenty of blame to go around. And it leaves the clear impression that two of the most important players in the risky world of deep-water drilling were doing their job on the cheap.
According to the report, Halliburton conducted three tests on the cement mixture it planned to use. All showed the mixture to be unstable, and, thus vulnerable to the high-pressure pool of oil and gas at the bottom of the well. It said Halliburton provided the results of one of these tests to BP on March 8 and that BP failed to act on it: “There is no indication that Halliburton highlighted to BP the significance of the foam instability data or that BP personnel raised any questions about it.”
Halliburton carried out a fourth, and differently designed, test that suggested the cement slurry was stable. But there is no doubt that the mixture actually used was fatally flawed. The report emphasizes that faulty cement was only one of a cascade of events, including the failure of the blowout preventer.
This investigation is far from over. What we know so far is deeply unsettling and good reason for the commission to keep probing.
Gee, don’t you think that Washington Theater is living up to the previews for an entertaining season? I thought the actor that played the deeply unsettled commissioner was especially good. Was that Robert Macondo?
Other AG liner notes for the Percussion Section: