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Poor risk assessment contributed to BP spill: report

September 21, 2011

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Washington – BP, Transocean and Halliburton share the blame for the fatal explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig last year, but BP’s decision-making was a key contributing factor to the explosion, according to a new report from the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. The April 20, 2010, explosion killed 11 crewmembers and unleashed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Released Sept. 14, the report (.pdf file) found that BP made decisions to save money and time without regard to risk. Contractors Transocean (which owned the rig) and Halliburton (which led cementing operations) also made mistakes, and all three violated federal regulations, the report said.

The findings line up with the January report (large .pdf file) from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

In related news, BOEMRE on Sept. 13 issued a proposed rule (.pdf file) to reduce incidents, injuries, and spills from oil and natural gas exploration. The proposed safety and environment management systems rule is part of a series of reforms undertaken by the Department of the Interior after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Comments on the proposed rule are due Nov. 14.

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