Engineer to Congress: BP “horribly negligent” when completing well

US Congress to tell BP boss: you broke rules, cut costs and it ended in disaster, Guardian, June 15, 2010:

Article Excerpts

Five days before the 20 April explosion, the [congressional committee’s] letter contends, BP was warned by its own drilling engineer that this was a “nightmare well”. … The committee [says]: …

BP went with the cheapest option of using just six “centralisers”, which hold the casing in the centre of the borehole, despite being advised by its contractors [who] warned that the well had a “SEVERE gas flow problem” and that using six centralisers would risk the success of the procedure. …

BP decided not to carry out an acoustic test designed to measure the efficacy of the cementing of the well to block off gas flows. The test would have cost $128,000 and taken an extra 12 hours. An independent engineer who gave evidence to the committee said it was “unheard of” not to perform the test and slammed the decision as being “horribly negligent“. …

The firm did not install a critical piece of equipment that locks the wellhead and the casing at the level of the sea floor. The absence of the “lockdown sleeve” has been identified as one possible cause of the explosion.

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