Thursday, January 06, 2011

Commission Releases Chapter on BP Well Blowout Investigation in Advance of Full Report

6 January 2011
Summary of the Chapter available here

Full chapter available here

Key messages include:

"The well blew out because a number of separate risk factors, oversights, and outright mistakes combined to overwhelm the safeguards meant to prevent just such an event from happening. But most of the mistakes and oversights at Macondo can be traced back to a single overarching failure—a failure of management. Better management by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean would almost certainly have prevented the blowout by improving the ability of individuals involved to identify the risks they faced, and to properly evaluate, communicate, and address them."

". . .the Macondo blowout was the product of several individual missteps and oversights by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean, which government regulators lacked the authority, the necessary resources, and the technical expertise to prevent.”
“The blowout was not the product of a series of aberrational decisions made by rogue industry or government officials that could not have been anticipated or expected to occur again. Rather, the root causes are systemic and, absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur."

I'm not really sure why this chapter has been released early. It doesn't seem to say much that was not covered in BP's own report, which they published four months ago in September 2010.

I can't help thinking there is a political motive. The summary released seems to be leading up to the a change of emphasis, from blaming BP for the accident to a shared responsibility. Equally I note that the name of the disaster changes from "BP Well Blowout" to "Macondo blowout" depending on the message.

I am still waiting to see reports from Transocean and Haliburton. Surely they have had the time to write them!

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