Chart Pulled from Spill Commission Counsel's Report Belies Conclusions

"The companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill made several risky decisions to save time -- and consequently money -- ahead of the disaster, according to a document that was pulled at the last minute from a presentation of the president's oil spill commission earlier this month.

The document obtained by Greenwire shows BP PLC, Halliburton Co. and Transocean Ltd. made a series of 11 unnecessary decisions that may have increased the chances of disaster. The findings paint a harsher picture than statements made by the panel's chief counsel during a recent presentation that workers onshore and on the drilling rig didn't cut corners on safety to save money. And it may be a harbinger of stronger findings in the panel's final conclusions due out in January.

Before Fred Bartlit, the chief counsel, made those comments earlier this month during the commission's final set of hearings, other inquiries into the disaster had alleged that BP's bad decisions were driven by a desire to save money on the project, which was running behind schedule and costing the company about $1.5 million a day. And in preliminary findings released last week, the National Academy of Engineering also said BP failed to assess risks and chose less expensive actions on the project."

Katie Howell reports for Greenwire November 23, 2010.


"Group Calls on Obama To Remove Oil Panel's Chief Lawyer for Conflict of Interest After Commission Refuses" (PR Newswire/Consumer Watchdog)

Source: Greenwire, 11/24/2010