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Oil Spill

Feds Blame BP Shortcuts for Gulf Oil Spill in New Report Released Today

Posted Sep 14, 2011 4:00 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Reaching conclusions similar to those of earlier investigators, in the most comprehensive report to date on the cause of disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill that began on April 20, 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon blew up in a fiery explosion, a joint task force today blames BP and two contractors. It says they took shortcuts as they sought to catch up with earlier time estimates concerning work being done by the drilling rig.

In a two-part, 500-page report (PDF) released today by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, officials say BP, as the owner of the well, bears ultimate responsibility for the deadly blowout.

But it also says contractors contributed to the "poor risk management, last-minute changes to plans, failure to observe and respond to critical indicators, inadequate well control response and insufficient emergency bridge response training" that led to the explosion and record-breaking spill of nearly 5 million barrels of oil, according to the New York Times (reg. req.).

The immediate cause of the accident was the failure of a concrete cap that was supposed to contain the oil underneath the sea.

A post on the Fuel Fix page of the Houston Chronicle provides additional details about the report.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Despite Hi-Tech Safety Equipment, Lack of Training Aided Oil Rig Disaster, NY Times Reports"

ABAJournal.com: "Feds Ponder Possible Manslaughter and Perjury Charges in Gulf Oil Spill Case, Sources Tell AP"

ABAJournal.com: "BP Sues Three Contractors in Oil Spill, Seeks at Least $40B in Damages"

Updated at 4:43 p.m. to link to Houston Chronicle post.

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