Sequence of failures caused Mexican Gulf disaster: BP

The Macondo well disaster, which claimed 11 lives in April, caused the spillage of about 4.9 million barrels of oil into the sea, resulting in huge financial liabilities for the firm. "No single factor caused the Macondo well tragedy. Rather, a sequence of failures involving a number of different parties led to the explosion and fire...," BP said in a report that looked into the causes of the disaster.

The internal inquiry found that apart from BP, rig owner Transocean and cement contractor Halliburton were also partly responsible for the disaster. More than four months after the incident, BP has pointed out that decisions made by multiple companies and work teams contributed to the accident.

It noted that the mishap happened due to a "complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgements, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces". The report is based on investigations led by BP's Head of Safety and Operations, Mark Bly.

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who is to step down in the wake of the oil spill, said the report reveals that a series of complex events, rather than a single mistake or failure, led to the tragedy.

"Multiple parties, including BP, Halliburton and Transocean, were involved," he added. Based on the findings, the report has made as many as 25 recommendations to prevent such a tragedy in future. The suggestions include strengthening blow-out preventers, pressure-testing of wells and installation of emergency systems.

Last week, BP had pegged the costs related to the Mexican Gulf disaster at over USD 8 billion. Following intense pressure from the US government, the entity in June had announced a USD 20 billion fund to meet obligations arising out of the oil spill.

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