US apportions blame for BP spill

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US apportions blame for BP spill

Systemic failures by the management of BP and other companies led to the Macondo well blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico last year, the official US inquiry has concluded, warning that industry complacency could cause a similar accident again.

A 48-page chapter from the report of the National Commission set up by President Barack Obama after the spill, released this morning, delivers a scathing verdict on the procedures followed by BP and its contractors on the project, Transocean and Halliburton.

An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20 killed 11 men and led to the largest ever offshore oil spill.

The report says: “Most of the mistakes and oversights at Macondo can be traced back to a single overarching failure – a failure of management. Better management by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean would almost certainly have prevented the blow-out.” It warns that “the root causes are systemic” and without significant reform of the industry and its regulation, “might well recur”.

The Commission’s full report, including its assessment of the response to the spill, will be published on Tuesday.

Its conclusions will form part of the basis for legal action against BP and the other companies, including the civil cases being pursued by the US government that could result in tens of billions of dollars in damages.

But the Commission’s report warns that the bill for compensating people who have lost money “is likely just the beginning”. It adds: “BP, its partners . . . and its key contractors (particularly Halliburton and Transocean) face potential liability for the billions more necessary to restore natural resources harmed by the spill.”




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