Experts on the BP Deepwater Horizon rig could have prevented last year’s huge oil spill—but no one checked with them, said the White House commission investigating the matter. A knowledgeable BP engineer was visiting the rig, but when a key pressure test returned odd results, workers didn’t ask him about them, Reuters reports. “If anyone had consulted him or any other shore-based engineer, the blowout might never have happened,” said the commission.
The test’s misreading was a central factor in the explosion. “The sad fact is that this was an entirely preventable disaster,” said the commission’s head. The new report, released yesterday, also says that despite years of known problems with the Halliburton engineer for the Macondo well, BP engineers didn’t closely examine his work. Meanwhile, the oil and gas that prompted the blowout “almost certainly” should have been blocked by Halliburton cement.