Tests warned of cement troubles before BP blowout
I’ve quoted a few paragraphs of the story below; the rest is here.
This article places at least SOME of the blame for the blowout on the cement. I believe this is incorrect, and BP has managed to distract this panel of non-experts from the real causes of the blow-out, in an attempt to mitigate their own responsibility for it.
It’s my understanding that it is not unusual to get a cement job that doesn’t seal the first go-round. Tests are run on the rig, at the time the cement is pumped, to determine whether the seal is good or not - if not good, then measures are taken to introduce additional cement or do whatever is necessary to get the seal.
In the case of this blowout - the tests were run, showing the seal was not adequate, and BP ignored the test results.
Notice that the last paragraph I quoted says that the cement mix failure has been identified by BP and others as one of the causes of the incident.
BP has managed to sell to this commission, comprised of non-experts in drilling, an alternate explanation for the blowout to try to absolve themselves of some of the blame. Further in the story, if you read it, it says there are questions about BP’s decisions regarding the operation of this well, that have not been addressed.
Actions taken on this rig were BP’s decisions, all the way. There may have been issues with the cement; however, on-the-rig, real-time tests were performed that SHOULD have alerted BP decision makers that there were problems, and there should have been decisions made to delay trying to complete the well.
WASHINGTON – Tests performed before the deadly blowout of BP’s oil well in the Gulf of Mexico should have raised doubts about the cement used to seal the well, but the company and its cementing contractor used it anyway, investigators with the president’s oil spill commission said Thursday.
It’s the first finding from the commission looking into the causes of the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. And it appears to conflict with statements made by Halliburton Co., which has said its tests showed the cement mix was stable. The company instead has said BP’s well design and operations were responsible for the disaster.
The cement mix’s failure to prevent oil and gas from entering the well has been identified by BP and others as one of the causes of the accident.