Construction shortcuts contributed to BP oil spill

by Greta Kaul

                BP and the owner of the Macondo oil well were found to be jointly responsible for contributing to last year’s 87-day oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a report by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement released Wednesday.

                The study found that BP took shortcuts in the building process. Cement at the well’s base allowed high-pressure natural gas onto the drilling platform, causing an explosion and a fire that resulted in 11 deaths, the New York Times reported.

BP acknowledges its role in the accident, and urges its drilling partners, Transocean and Halliburton, to accept their share of the blame. Wednesday’s report could significantly increase the chances that the three companies will face criminal charges for the spill, the New York Times said.

                The spill, capped on July 15 of last year, leaked 4.9 billion gallons of crude oil into the Atlantic Ocean and caused billions of dollars in damages to the fishing industry, Gulf tourism industry and environmental cleanup efforts, the Independent reported.