BP Well Almost Blew Up Months Earlier

Good thing they learned from their mistakes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2010 10:51 AM CDT
In this April 21, 2010 file image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon.   (AP Photo/US Coast Guard, File)

(Newser) – BP knew its Macondo well was in trouble long before it exploded—because it was dealing with cracks in its seal way back in February. The company spent 10 days trying to seal up the holes, experiencing repeated difficulties that suggest it was using the wrong kind of cement. Cracks also formed in the surrounding rocks, allowing heavy drilling fluid to leak out into the seabed, and creating the risk of an explosion.

“Once they realized they had oil down there, all the decisions they made were designed to get that oil at the lowest cost,” one environmental expert tells Bloomberg. “It’s been a doomed voyage from the beginning.” In March, the drillers saw surges in natural gas, which can also lead to explosions—Exxon abandoned a well in 2006 over a similar issue, deeming it too dangerous. BP pressed on.

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