BP Internal Investigation Report Released

BP's Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers on April 20.

BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers on April 20.

BP will be releasing their report today on the internal investigation into the Gulf oil spill in the US. On April 20 of this year the Deepwater Horizon exploded killing 11 workers and resulted in the uncapped well spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico waters for almost three months. The area is still undergoing cleanup efforts and the spill has been called the worst environmental disaster in US History.

BP will make the report available for public view on its Web site. The internal investigation was headed by BP’s safety chief Mark Bly. It is expected to be 200 pages long and should hold no real surprises. What is expected is for BP to accept partial blame for the accident. They will point the finger at others to avoid a conclusion that the company performed gross negligence that caused the accident. Avoiding the gross negligence implications is important so that BP can maintain insurance and keep fines from the US lower.

BP will accept blame by admitting that workers failed to read pressure readings correctly prior to the explosion. This would mean that the workers would then be unaware that there was oil and gas leaking into the drilled bore hole which is what caused the explosion. Blame will also be placed on Transocean whose hired staff operated the rig and Haliburton which had responsibility for securing the wellhead to the sea floor. Further blame will be placed on the blowout preventer which should have cut off the well when the leak began but failed to perform and prevent the blowout and resulting explosion.

Last week the blowout preventer was brought up to the surface and was seized by US authorities for examination. It was noted that the equipment had been modified before its use in China. It is unclear when examination of the blowout preventer will be finished.

The 200 page BP report is not expected to have many surprises so BP shares are not expected to take a hit due to the release of the report. The US Federal Government is still investigating the incident and is probing into whether there were shortcuts taken in the project to save money and keep costs down. The well, named Macondo by BP, had been a difficult well to drill. This put the project behind schedule and equipment was due to be elsewhere on another assignment. The Federal Government has not given a deadline to complete their investigation. The BP report is expected to be released today by noon.

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