The explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico this past April 20, killing 11 workers sinking the Deepwater Horizon oil platform rig that spewed massive amounts of oil into the Gulf. The Obama administration special investigation commission revealed test results from the design mix cement used to seal the drill well wasinconsistent. Cement testing warned of problems before the well’s blowout.
Weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, BP’s subcontractor Halliburton headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney and BP both were aware of the cement test but they decided to use itat any rate. The resultsindicated trouble with the cement’s design mix on BP’s drilling well in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest environmental disaster oil spill in US history. The cement is supposed to secure the well pipes and keeps oil and gas from flowing up into the well.
Halliburton was responsible for sealing the well with the cement. Before cement can be placed, inspection testing of the material determines whether or not the material meets testing criteria a procedure that is performed before use for integrity and conformance. Halliburton was aware of the testing results. Since the explosion there have been questions regarding the reliabilityof the cement job. Those test results are not good for Halliburton.
After the explosion, Halliburton was asked to turn over samples of the cement materials tested like those used at the well. The materials were tested by oil giant Chevron employees at a Houston, Texas testinglavatory. Reports are that the testing wasunable to produce“stable foam cement.” The cement would not be strong enough to keep the well sealed. Halliburton was asked to turn over all of the tests it had run on the mixture.Those documents appeared that Halliburton had conducted strength tests of the cement mixture. The first two were run this past February 2010 using a different design mix than the one eventually used at the well. Both of these tests indicated that the mix was not stable. Weeks later Halliburton sent results from those tests to BP in an e-mail dated March 8.
Two more tests were conducted by Halliburton in April. The first test was performedseven days before the explosion and fire that showed the mix to be unstable. These results were reported internally byHalliburton but they never provided the data to BP according to thespecial investigation commission. “Halliburton reported this data to BP after the blowout”. Also the investigation commission reported BP did not have the test results, “the cement job may have been pumped without any lab results.”
The cement was not the only problem for the well this past April 20.The blowout preventer a massive device that was supposed to shut off the well in case of a threateningpressure of oil and gas, also failed with human errors. On the day of the blowout, BP canceled a test called a “cement bond log” designed to discover cement defects, saving more than $100,000. Halliburton informed federal investigators that BP risked drilling because the project was behind in a self-imposed schedule completion date.
Halliburton and BP knew the cement material could fail if they skirted testing criteria, cutting corners for profits. BP is not the only one liable and responsible for this oil disaster. This evidence will strengthenlawsuits and criminal charges by helping to show that both Halliburton and BP acted with “gross negligence” in the oil spill paying for violation of the Clean Water Act that destroyed the fishery industry, wetlands, marshlands and wildlife.
Because of the major problems this massive oil spill has caused in deepwater exploration drilling, the Justice Department will file criminal charges against BP, Halliburton and Transocean Ltd., the drilling rig’s owner.