Elsewhere this Friday:
- Gulf dilemma: Take BP’s payout or sue?
- For Pelosi and Markey, an oil sands mission
- Green building takes off in real estate slump
- UK government told to cut 2020 biofuels target – Reuters
- Nomura bulks up in north America – WSJ
- Korea Oil’s hostile $2.6bn Dana bid marks new aggression – Bloomberg
- Hyundai unveils its first electric car – Reuters
BP’s investigation team includes a series of recommendations based on their key findings. The report notes that ”others in the industry may benefit from consideration of these recommendations as well”.
The recommendations themselves are too technical to go into in detail, but broadly cover “drilling and well operations practice” and as well as “contractor and service provider oversight and assurance”.
Here are a few that seemed noteworthy:
- Conduct an immediate review of the quality of the services provided by all cementing service providers
It just wouldn’t be a proper oil-related disaster if Greenpeace were not involved at every stage of the game.
Responding to BP’s report on the oil spill, Jim Footner, head of its energy campaign, said:
“This report is a sorry catalogue of the gaffes and failures behind the Deepwater Horizon disaster. And it’s highly likely that a truly independent report would be even more damning for BP.
It seems that not a lot went right on the Macondo welll on April 20. If you need a step-by-step description of events that led to the accident, here is BP’s more detailed account, helpfully attributing blame at each step (the emphasis is ours).
- The cement and shoe track barriers – and in particular the cement slurry that was used – at the bottom of the Macondo well failed to contain hydrocarbons within the reservoir, as they were designed to do, and allowed gas and liquids to flow up the production casing;
- The results of the negative pressure test were incorrectly accepted by BP and Transocean, although well integrity had not been established;
- Over a 40-minute period, the Transocean rig crew failed to recognise and act on the influx of hydrocarbons into the well until the hydrocarbons were in the riser and rapidly flowing to the surface;
The BP report spreads blame for the explosion and the spill far and wide.
The four-month investigation has found that the accident was caused by “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces”.
The main points are indeed complex and technical, but here is Tony Hayward, BP’s outgoing chief executive, trying to make it easier to understand for those of us who don’t work on oil rigs:
To put it simply, there was a bad cement job and a failure of the shoe track barrier at the bottom of the well, which let hydrocarbons from the reservoir into the production casing. The negative pressure test was accepted when it should not have been, there were failures in well control procedures and in the blow-out preventer; and the rig’s fire and gas system did not prevent ignition.
The eagerly-awaited report from BP has just been released on the company’s website.
As was widely expected, BP has concluded that:
The investigation found that 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 which killed 11 people and caused widespread pollution in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year.
The Deepwater Horizon accident investigation report prepared by BP’s internal investigation team on the causes of the Gulf of Mexico tragedy is expected to be published on Wednesday at 1200 BST / 0700 EDT.
FT Energy Source will have regular updates on the report during the day. Stay tuned.