At the request of the Department of Interior, the National Academy of Engineering formed a special committee to study the causes of the blowout of BP’s Mississippi Canyon Block 252 well, dubbed Macondo. The investigation of the blowout started in June, but news was made yesterday as the committee publicly interviewed members of BP’s internal investigation team for the first time, as well as other parties. You’ll recall that BP’s report, described by drilling contractor Transocean as “self serving”, was issued earlier this month. You’ll also recall that of the eight failures identified by BP as the causes of the blowout, BP only took partial responsibility for two, completely ignoring key issues such as casing design and circulation prior to the cement job. BP’s team, led by Mark Bly, BP Group Head of Safety and Operations, placed primary blame for the disaster on Transocean, Halliburton, and Weatherford. Their conclusions, transferring blame to others rather than identifying the true causes, called the entire report into question.
“How could you call this great work accident investigation … and not addressing human performance issues and organizational issues and decision-making issues?”
“It wasn’t intended to be anything that it isn’t. It was a good contribution and a good foundation for further work for BP itself and others.”
“BP’s well design and operational decisions compromised well integrity,” said Roth. “BP proceeded with well operations without establishing well integrity. In the end, BP followed a decision tree that ignored multiple red flags.”