BP’s ‘cost-cutting decisions’ blamed for ‘avoidable’ Gulf of Mexico oil spill

January 6th, 2011 - 5:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 6(ANI): The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was an avoidable disaster caused in part by a series of ‘cost-cutting decisions’ made by BP and its partners, the White House oil commission has said.

In a preview of its final report, due next week, the commission said that systemic management failure at BP, Transocean, and Halliburton caused the blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, the Guardian reports.

It also warned that such a disaster would likely recur because of industry complacency.

“Whether purposeful or not, many of the decisions that BP, Halliburton, and Transocean made that increased the risk of the Macondo blowout clearly saved those companies significant time (and money),” the report said.

The report also emphasised that BP, which owned the well, did not enforce proper controls to manage increased risks.

“BP did not have adequate controls in place to ensure that key decisions in the months leading up to the blow-out were safe or sound from an engineering perspective,” the report said

It continued on the same theme, concluding: “Most of the mistakes and oversights at Macondo can be traced back to a single overarching failure - a failure of management.”

The spill, which stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

The leak was stopped by capping the gushing wellhead on July 15, after it had released about 4.9 million barrels of crude oil.

It was estimated that 53,000 barrels per day were escaping from the well just before it was capped.

It is also believed that the daily flow rate diminished over time, starting at about 62,000 barrels per day and decreasing as the reservoir of hydrocarbons feeding the gusher was gradually depleted.

On September 19, the relief well process was successfully completed and the US government declared the well “effectively dead”.

The spill continues to cause extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats as well as the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries. (ANI)

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