Halliburton, BP Knew Cement was Faulty Weeks Before Gulf Spill

Photo: DVIDSHUB, Flickr/CC BY

And yet another chapter emerges in the seemingly never-ending saga of corporate malfeasance and complete disregard for human and operational safety that's fast-rising as the legacy of the BP spill. In this latest revelation, we find out that none other than BP and Halliburton -- a corporation just begging to be helmed by a Bond villain if there ever was one -- both knew that the cement mixture used to seal the Macondo well was faulty, after a series of tests revealed as much. And neither company did nor said anything.And now, of course, 11 people are dead, and the Gulf has been the site of the worst environmental disaster in American history. Kudos Halliburton -- you've managed to get yourself associated with the worst things America brought upon itself in the last decade: the Iraq war, the BP oil spill, Dick Cheney.

Yes, it turns out that Halliburton conducted three separate tests to determine whether the cement mixture that was to be used to seal the well nearly a mile below the ocean surface was in fact stable. Their tests determined that it was not. Guess what happened next.

From the NY Times:

Halliburton officials knew weeks before the fatal explosion of the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the bottom of the well was unstable but still went ahead with the job, the presidential commission investigating the accident said on Thursday ... the commission staff determined that Halliburton had conducted three laboratory tests that indicated that the cement mixture did not meet industry standards.

The result of at least one of those tests was given on March 8 to BP, which failed to act upon it, the panel's lead investigator, Fred H. Bartlit Jr., said in a letter delivered to the commissioners on Thursday. "There is no indication that Halliburton highlighted to BP the significance of the foam stability data or that BP personnel raised any questions about it," Mr. Bartlit said in his report.

Yes, both companies knew that they'd used a faulty cement mixture weeks before the explosion that killed 11 men, and neither raised a finger to address the situation or alert the workers stationed on the rig above the unstable well. Good thing the Obama administration overturned the ban on offshore drilling, after oil execs and oil-thirsty politicians continued to call for more drilling, even in the face of the massive spill -- I'm sure this sort of negligence was just a one-off thing. All those other wells are probably safe as can be; especially BP's Atlantis well, which regulators even now are calling a "ticking time bomb".

Absolutely outrageous. Excuse my acerbic tone, I know it's a little early in a Friday morning for such a polemic -- but the BP spill is already fading out of view in the mainstream media, and it looks as if we'll all have learned next to nothing from the entire tragic event.

More on the BP Gulf Spill
Another BP Oil Rig is a "Ticking Time Bomb": Whistleblower
The 6 Crucial Errors that Led to the Deepwater Horizon Explosion
Oil Spill Blame Game Over: 60 Minutes Uncovers Severe BP Neglicgence

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