BP Cut Corners on Well Casing
Went with riskier option because it was cheaper
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 27, 2010 6:55 AM CDT
A live video feed of the gulf oil spill is seen during a news conference held by Senators Barbara Boxer and Benjamin Cardin on Capitol Hill, May 26, 2010.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – First rule of business, kids: cut costs where you can. For example, if you can buy a cheaper cement for the casing pipe in your oil well, and the only risk is that it might fail to seal, let gas leak in, and lead to a massive explosion, you should definitely do it. Just ask BP. It deliberately selected the cheaper type of casing, fully aware that, in the event of a leak, it provided only a single seal as barrier, according to a document provided to Congress and the New York Times; the more expensive option would have provided two.

In the document, the company notes the risk, but refers to it as the “best economic case.” Another cost cutting measure apparently caused a fight aboard the rig shortly before the explosion. The chief Deepwater Horizon mechanic testified yesterday that he witnessed a “skirmish” between the BP site leader and TransOcean's crew members over BP's decision to replace the heavy drilling fluid in the pipe with seawater. “Well, this is how it's going to be,” the site leader declared.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
sirgil
Jun 17, 2010 3:02 PM CDT
This type of corporate decision making and execution goes on all to ofter and in all to many industries. Poor Management, Chain of Command, and the Focus on Cost to enhance return on investment for the executives supposedly leading the Entity. In my over 40 years of business experience, regulators and enforcers of business practice hide from conflict with management to an extent that business managers do not allow regulators to even discuss practices with underlings for fear of disclosure of unethical, illegal, and unsafe decisions made by leaders. Business Managers love the term "Responsibility without Accountability", that is to say, these BMs get lots of money without accountability. Accountability falls on those line and middle managers forced to take BMs inference and turn it into implementation practice to please the BMs and keep their paychecks and cash flow. When the proverbial S_ _ T hits the fan guess who now is responsible and accountable.
odowd80
May 27, 2010 5:05 PM CDT
hybrid is notably absent from this thread. He's too busy blaming Obama for not stopping the oil leak.
HANKHILL
May 27, 2010 2:49 PM CDT
doh u do not say doh