At Texas Spill Hearing, BP, Transocean and Halliburton Point Fingers « The Washington Independent
Though much attention has been paid to yesterday’s national oil spill commission meeting in Washington (I wrote about it here), there’s another oil spill meeting taking place in Houston, Tx., that is just as important.
The Interior Department and the Coast Guard are holding hearings this week on the cause of the BP oil spill. But they aren’t getting many answers. All week long, the three companies responsible for the spill: BP (well owner), Transocean (rig owner) and Halliburton (cement contractor) engaged in a round robin of finger pointing. There was so much ducking of responsibility that a chairman of the oil spill hearings said he did not yet know who was in charge of the rig prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion, The New York Times reports:
This week, BP has been pushing back against the perception that it is primarily responsible for the spill. On Wednesday, the company issued a statement saying that Halliburton should have stopped work on cementing the well if its workers held genuine safety concerns. To not do so, BP said, would be “morally repugnant.”
Halliburton replied with a statement that said BP had ignored its warnings and persisted with a risky plan to use fewer devices called centralizers when cementing the well. “Ultimately, Halliburton acted on the decisions of and at the explicit direction of the well owner,” the statement said.
The dispute follows testimony Tuesday about a report from Halliburton to BP two days before the explosion that said the cement could result in a “severe gas flow” problem.