Environmental news from California and beyond

« Previous Post | Greenspace Home | Next Post »

Gulf oil spill: Top BP official never saw document warning about well design

July 22, 2010 | 10:51 am
A top BP official acknowledged Thursday the he didn’t review a key document that could have hinted of a potential problem with the well under the Deepwater Horizon, the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico April 20. 

The document was a report by Halliburton, the company responsible for cementing the well's casings and sealing the well, that showed computer-generated projections that a well design plan considered on April 18 could result in a “severe gas flow problem.”

John Guide, the Houston-based supervisor of BP’s two top officials aboard the rig, said he wasn’t aware of the document and had not talked about it with BP’s two top leaders, Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine.

If he had known about it, “we would have huddled up and discussed it to see why it was indicated like that,” Guide said. “It was never brought to my attention during the whole time I was involved in the Horizon.”

A BP official said the plan was altered, but did not elaborate further.

The testimony was made at a hearing in suburban New Orleans of a U.S. Coast Guard-Interior Department investigation probing the cause of the oil spill, the largest in recent U.S. History.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II in Kenner, La.