Internal BP Report Deflects Blame Onto Contracted Rig Workers

An BP internal investigation has found that responsibility for the Gulf spill lies less with its corner-cutting practices and more with poor decisions and bad judgment calls by Transocean and Halliburton workers on the doomed oil rig. Gee, what a surprise.

Report by BP Finds Several Companies at Fault in Spill [NYT]


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  1. smo0 says:

    They should all fucking go down. Assholes.

  2. TuxthePenguin says:

    Wow, the editorializing is really strong with this one… especially given a two paragraph run in the actual article that, if true, makes the editorializing here moot…

    “Among its most significant conclusions, the report said that the blowout came up the center of the pipe and not up the outside of the well casing, the area known as the annulus.

    If true, the finding is significant because it plays down the importance of certain BP decisions that have been criticized as negligent. One such decision was BP’s choice of a type of well casing that internal documents indicated the company knew was cheaper but riskier. Another such decision was BP’s use of fewer-than-advised centralizers, devices that are meant to keep the casing properly positioned. “

    Can I tell the poster to read the article? Or will I get devoweled (or deleted)?

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Granted, there needs to be another independent report to confirm it, but still…

      • smo0 says:

        Honestly, the title says it all “INTERNAL” “CONDUCTED “BY BP.”

        Not to point out the obvious but… it’s totally biased. I don’t think the point of this post was the article… it was … what it was really about… deflecting blame. Deflecting blame by someone accused of this in the first place.

        It’s like catching two perpetrators of the same crime… they will point out that the other guy is guilty…

        UNLESS this is done by an independent party… we can all pretty much give the universal jerking off motion while giving them the finger.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          True, but a finding like that has to have some factual evidence. I’m sure there is some judgment involved, but if I were the government/independent reviewer, I’d be circling that twenty times to review. Its like painting a target on your back.

          • smo0 says:

            Well .. as per another comment made by a user – they are probably digging crap up for a lawsuit ro recouperate fund lost during this fiasco… greedy is as greedy does….

            it’s a goddamned circus!

    • IThinkThereforeIAm says:

      While you are right that it “plays down the importance of certain BP decisions”, it also highlights that BP DID make those risky decisions. And even if they can point out that in this case those decisions did NOT directly cause the catastrophe, they still compromised the safety of the operation – they just got lucky (although this may not be the most fortunate phrase).

    • sonneillon says:

      BP owned it. BP hired the people to build it. If BP hired/contracted crooked and incompetent people (Haliburten) to handle it, it doesn’t really matter, they are still responsible.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Actually, Transocean owned it.

        • sonneillon says:

          BP was leasing it and they contracted Transocean, it was theirs for all the important legal reasons. There are all kinds of reasons why businesses lease their property, mostly tax and financing reasons but they are still liable for what happens on it. Now BP could intern sue Transocean and Haliburton for leasing or selling them a defective product. That is totally ok and they probably will.

  3. humphrmi says:

    This is less about trying to limit BP’s liability to the public, the government, and the people of the Gulf and more about BP positioning itself to sue the hell out of Transocean and Halliburton after it’s all over.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Wouldn’t not hiring experienced and competent staff STILL be considered a cost-cutting measure?

  5. axiomatic says:

    Look BP, you hired these guys. Whether they were qualified or not to do the job the responsibility ultimately is still yours.

    • dolemite says:

      Yup…kind of like if I hire a tree service that isn’t insured and a limb they cut crashes on my neighbor’s car. I can’t go “Look, wasn’t me, it was them!” Sure, they caused it, but I hired them, knowing they were perhaps sketchy.

      • DanRydell says:

        If you were sued and had to pay for the car, you could sue the tree cutters to recover your money because they caused the damage.

        See how that works?

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      While BP does shoulder the brunt of responsibility, it doesn’t mean no one else should be held accountable. If you hire my car company to drive you somewhere, and I hire a driver who crashes, its both of our responsibilities, and we both share blame – its often up to a judge or jury to determine what the actual split is.

      Obama (and most of America) spent the summer cursing BP, forcing them to fork over $20 billion to a compensation fund, and we didn’t even know where fault lay at the time (and still don’t). It was grandstanding by Obama and congress to make themselves look good at the expense of one of the many companies involved.

      • sonneillon says:

        That is incorrect. If your driver gets into a wreck. The driver gets a ticket and that is it. Your insurance then takes the hit, not his. You own the vehicle and you contracted with the person. Your insurance eats it and you take any liability over your insurance, which then causes your rates to go up, and if you are self insured same thing except it pulls money out of that. Essentially if you own a business and your employee does something while acting as your employee. You are legally responsible.

        For more information

  6. Scamazon says:

    That is the key benefit to Corporations of outsourcing. They can point fingers away from them even though they are the directors of what ultimately happens. COME ON BP, TAKE THE LEAD AND TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOUR MISHAPS!

    They all do it. Its the sad state of what happens when you let corporations regulate themselves, they take risks and try to take over the world.

  7. areaman says:

    BP knew Transocean and Halliburton business practices before they signed up to do business with them. BP wasn’t crying about “bad judgment calls by Transocean and Halliburton workers” back then.

    Also, I have zero faith in BP or any of their reports.

    • DanRydell says:

      Wow, so essentially you’re saying that BP is at fault regardless of whether BP actually caused the spill, because BP hired two companies that had never before caused the largest oil spill in US history and should have known that they were going to cause the largest oil spill in US history? Is that how it works?

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Like Halliburton has the greatest reputation in the world. :P

        Due diligence might have prevented it. I would want to know what the companies I hired were doing, and I would have accountability and reporting procedures in place to do so. That’s just me, though. It just makes them look even more dickish (and stupid) to say “Well, we didn’t have any idea what they were doing here.”

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          As someone who works in the oil industry (but not for Transocean, Halliburton, or BP), I can assure you that most of us believe that Transocean and Halliburton, as contractors, did what BP told them to do, or strongly implied they should do.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        LEgally, BP is in fact at fault for the actions of the companies they hire to do their work. It doesn’t mean they can’t turn around and sue those companies to reclaim damages they lost, but if it’s got BP seal on it, they are responsible for it.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Business as usual caused an unusual event-or so we think.

      Don’t you listen- the dog ate my homework…

  8. isileth says:

    Blame the dead who cannot defend themselves.

  9. Joe User says:

    It’s a well known BP fact, that when BP’s rigs explode, they only leak rainbows and unicorns. It must be Transocean and Halliburton that caused all this oil to get in the way.

  10. DanRydell says:

    With three companies involved in the well I don’t see why it’s so hard to believe that the other companies might have some responsibility.

  11. UrIt says:

    yes, blame the dead and injured people. that will go over well.

  12. smartmuffin says:

    Never thought I’d see the day where lefties are standing in line to defend Halliburton. Obviously BP has an interest in deflecting blame, but I wonder how so many casual observers are somehow so sure it’s ENTIERLY BP’s fault and none of the other giant international corporations could possibly have done anything wrong!

  13. sopmodm14 says:

    uhh, no

    you’re responsible for hiring competent Human Resources personnel to hire other competent personnel

    similar case :

  14. barcodetattoo says:

    All of this fuss over a mere “spill”.

  15. Calcbunny says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t blame George Bush,

  16. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Wow. Just so people know, in the USA, where I happen to live, our courts are pretty darn good. One thing they actually do when deciding a case is figure out who SHARES the blame/fault. Case in point: Liebeck v McDonald’s aka, the spilled coffee case. In that case, McDonald’s was found to be 80% to blame and Liebeck to be 20% at fault.

    As much as people think the crew of this rig was suicidal, they weren’t. Transocean had the final say when it came to safety. You can argue that BP was “running the show”, but then you will be admitting that Transocean was willingly/criminally negligent and allowed peoples lives to be put at risk, knowing the dangers as the people with the most experience on board. That would still make them partially at fault, and BP would not be totally to blame. So in essence, saying it was all BP’s fault proves your own argument wrong.

    In the final assessment, we will surely see what is known as a “cascade failure”. A causes B, which leads to C, which results in D, etc… with any of the failures not being critical, and would actually stop the whole thing if it didn’t happen. Look at an airplane crash, like American Airlines Flight 191. It all happened starting over month earlier when during engine maintenance, there was a shift change(A). During the shift change, a small leak in the forklift(B) caused the engine to tilt forward and pivot on a bolt damaging the pylon it was attached to(C). After a few flights, the damage caused the engine to rip away from the wing and away from the plane(D). This caused the power to be lost to the pilots control(E). The power could have been restored, but would have required the navigator to get out of his seat, find a panel behind him, and flip a switch(F). Also damaged were the hydraulic lines(G) and also the backup lines(H). This caused the slats on the one wing w/o an engine to deploy, making the wing un-aerodynamic(I). American Airlines made a decision on their fleet to not install what is known as a “stick shaker”, that warns the person that the plane may stall by actually shaking the stick, on the Co-pilots instruments(J). Since the pilot had no power, the co-pilot was controlling the plane, and they began following the standard procedure(K), but because of no stick shaker, the procedures made them even more prone to stall(L). And it goes on.

    Little things, like if the forklift hadn’t had a leak or there was a shift change could have prevented this. Or if power to the pilots instruments was easily transferred. Or moving the back up hydraulic lines 3 feet in one direction. But you see the point. In and of themselves, they were not the reason for the crash. But they happened at just the wrong time to make the failure worse and worse until it claimed the lives of everyone on board, and some people on the ground. But whose fault is it? The forklift operators? The forklift maker? The board that elected not to install a stick shaker on the Co-pilots side? The people who built the electrical system for the plane? The people who made the procedures for an emergency? The people who designed the hydraulic system? The government agency that approved the plans, which contained these flaws? Etc… Everyone shares blame. It was American Airlines plane, but they didn’t design the electrical system or the hydraulic system or the forklift, etc…

    My point? People need to think. It’s easy to say this person/company is the booger-man. But that is what a mob does. What’s really harder, and more honest, is to sit there and examine the facts of the case and be prepared for it NOT to be the fault of one person/company. To not go in with a bias. Because when you do that, you are no worse than someone who lynched someone because of the perceived wrong you think they did you.