BP Says Internal Probe of Gulf Oil Disaster Lacked Others’ Input

September 28, 2010

BP’s lead investigator into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill told an independent panel of experts recently that the company’s internal probe had limitations.

Mark Bly, head of safety and operations for BP PLC, said a lack of physical evidence and interviews with employees from other companies limited BP’s study.

“It doesn’t include the integrated understanding from other companies involved,” Bly said.

Bly’s appearance before a National Academy of Engineering committee was the first time that BP’s investigative team had been questioned publicly about the April incident, which killed 11 people and released 206 million gallons (780 million liters) of oil.

BP’s study said eight separate failures led to the oil rig accident. The report blamed BP and other companies.

But the conclusions were made without examining the drilling rig, which remains on the sea floor, or the blowout preventer, a key safety device that was brought to shore only recently. BP also did not have access to samples of the cement used to seal the well, and said Halliburton refused to supply a similar mix for testing. BP has said the cement failed.

Bly said that the British oil giant relied extensively on real-time data collected aboard the rig to reconstruct what happened.

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