(WASHINGTON) -- The first official finding by the presidential commission investigating last spring’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a damning one.
The panel says the oil field services corporation Halliburton went ahead with sealing the bottom of the Macondo well several weeks before the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizons rig, even though the company knew that the cement used in the job was unstable.
In all, results of three tests conducted by Halliburton indicated that the cement did not meet industry standards. In one instance, Halliburton shared the findings with well operator BP, which allowed the work to continue.
Lead panel investigator Fred Bartlit, Jr. does not speculate whether the substandard cement used by Halliburton was the primary or sole cause of the blowout resulting in the largest accidental spill in the history of petroleum spills. However, Bartlit says if the cement had held and kept oil and natural gas out of the well bore, the 200-million gallon leak would not have occurred.
Previously, BP has blamed Halliburton, the cement contractor, for being partially responsible for the faulty cement job. Halliburton has denied culpability in the accident, saying it was BP’s flawed design and poor operations that led to the disaster that will have repercussions in the Gulf of Mexico for perhaps decades to come.
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