BP Revised Permits Before Blast
From the middle of this story, a description of just one of the several bad decisions BP made:
BP had hoped to get a 9 7/8-inch pipe big enough to handle a lot of oil and gas ;into the reservoir. But for the final section, the largest pipe they could fit was a 7-inch pipe. The company had to decide whether to use a single piece of pipe that reached all the way from the sea floor down to the oil reservoir, or use two pipes, one inside the other.
The two-pipe method was the safer option, according to many industry experts, because it would have provided an extra layer of protection against gas traveling up the outside of the well to the surface. Gene Beck, a longtime industry engineer and a professor at Texas A&M University, said the two-pipe method is “more or less the gold standard,” especially for high-pressure wells such as the one BP was drilling.
But the one-pipe option was easier and faster, likely taking a week less time than the two-pipe method. BP was spending about $1 million per day to operate the Deepwater Horizon.