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Thursday, January 06, 2011

National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling - Final Report


The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling final report concludes:
The oil spill stemmed from a “failure of management” by BP and the other companies involved in the construction and operation of the ill-fated Macondo well.

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 well blowout was the result of “several individual missteps” by BP; Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig; and Halliburton, which cemented the well.

The federal government  lacked the authority, the necessary resources, and the technical expertise to prevent such a disaster.

The "missteps" include "inadequate risk evaluation," "a flawed design for the cement slurry used to seal the bottom of the well," and "apparent inattention to key initial signals of the impending blowout," among other things.

BP alone cannot be blamed for the spill because it was a result of “systemic” problems within the oil industry.

BP, Halliburton and Transocean all saved money as a result of their decisions, but the commission stopped short of accusing the companies of making decisions for fiscal gain.

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling was formed by President Obama in May and has been investigating the Gulf disaster for months. Commission staff have previously released a series of draft reports critical of the oil industry, the Interior Department and the White House.
The Center supports the Obama administration's decision to abandon a March 2010 proposal to allow oil-and-gas leasing off the Atlantic Coast and deeper into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Although the Center supports offshore drilling, we opposed the administration's original expanded drilling plan.  (The Hill, 1/5/2010)

[The commission released just one chapter of its final report Wednesday — the rest will be released Jan. 11]

[Center President Norris McDonald presented a statement before the Commission -approx 52 minutes into the video]

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