Gulf Disaster

Halliburton, BP Knew Cement Was Unstable

Halliburton admits they knew the cement mixture used to seal the bottom of the BP oil rig in the Gulf was unstable, but went ahead with the project anyway. The admission comes after presidential oil spill commission announced that Halliburton conducted three tests on the mixture that found it didn’t meet industry standards, and sent the results of at least one of those tests on to BP, which failed to act on it. “There is no indication that Halliburton highlighted to BP the significance of the foam stability data or that BP personnel raised any questions about it,” reads the report. Halliburton, formerly lead by former Vice President Dick Cheney, conducted a final test with changed conditions and was apparently satisfied with the result, but “Halliburton may not have had—and BP did not have—the results of that test before the evening of April 19,” when the cement was pumped. Other factors may have contributed to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history—BP’s decision to use fewer centralizers than Halliburton recommended, or their decision to not pump down enough cement to seal the bottom of the well are also under scrutiny—but the report makes clear that if the cement had done its job, there would have been no explosion.