Gulf Oil Blast Whos To Blame

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 9:34am

Government panel issues report on cause of Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The presidential commission investigating the BP oil disaster has released its preliminary report.

It's challenging claims that BP and others focused on saving money at the expense of safety.

"To date we have not seen a single instance where a human being made a conscious decision to favor dollars over safety," said the National Oil Spill Commission's Chief Counsel Fred Bartlit.

Instead they found a series of errors, and shared blame.

A key focus was cement used in constructing the well.

Lab tests in the months before showed flaws.

In the hours before the blast results of a negative pressure test, which indicated a problem, were ignored.

"None of the men on the rig want to die none of the men out on that rig wanted to jeopardize their own safety," pointed out deputy chief counsel Sean Grimsley.

But the experienced crew had no standard procedures for interpreting.

"Engineers had to use their best judgment in response to very challenging pressure situations and by all indications they did," said commission co-chair William Reilly.

Representatives from the companies defended their roles and what they knew.

"There was reports back from the rig that said look the cement job went well, and so at face value there was a lot of confirming evidence that things were okay," said BP Executive Vice President of Safety and Operational Risk Mark Bly.

The hearing continues Tuesday.

The commission is waiting for forensic tests on the failed blow out preventer before issuing its final report in January.

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