BP blames contractors for oil spill

In a report released on Wednesday, BP defended decisions that US politicians have said represented cost-saving measures that contributed to the explosion on the rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

These include its much-criticised single-casing well design, its choice to use fewer centralisers when cementing the well and its decision to replace heavy drilling mud, which was keeping the well under control, with lighter water.

The report, conducted by BP’s head of safety, Mark Bly, highlighted eight key failures that, in combination, led to the explosion.

Most of these factors would normally be the responsibility of either Transocean, as rig operator, or Halliburton, which cemented the well. However, BP denied it was shifting blame and accepted that one of its representatives, in conjunction with Transocean, had incorrectly interpreted a safety test that should have flagged up risks of a blowout.

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