As early as February, oil-field service giant Halliburton was getting poor results in lab tests of the recipe for the cement it was planning to use, according to evidence collected by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
Three separate tests suggested that the mixture would be "unstable," according to a commission staff letter released Thursday.
Halliburton notified BP by e-mail about only one of the tests before the well explosion, according to the commission. The two companies went ahead with the cementing job anyway. Its failure became the first in a cascade of factors leading to the accident.
The results of a fourth Halliburton test - the only one indicating that the cement slurry might have been able to contain the high-pressure pool of oil and gas at the bottom of the Macondo well - were not available until the night of April 19 at the earliest and perhaps not until after the cement was poured, the commission staff said.
At the commission's request, Chevron recently carried out independent lab tests of a cement slurry that Halliburton said was the same as that used in the Macondo well. The commission staff said Chevron reported that "its lab personnel were unable to generate stable foam cement in the laboratory using the materials provided by Halliburton."
The commission staff said in the letter Thursday that the Halliburton tests before the Macondo well blowout and the new lab tests conducted by Chevron show that "Halliburton (and perhaps BP) should have considered redesigning the foam slurry before pumping it at the Macondo well."
Well, I’m sure the free hand of the market will take care of that. I mean, this is Halliburton, y’all! The company which fleeced taxpayers with its Iraq reconstruciton corruption, overcharged the U.S. government for fuel, tried to cover up a female employee’s alleged gang rape. The company which got fat off U.S. government warmongering then moved to Dubai to avoid paying taxes. Such a patriotic group of people.
So now BP can share some of the liability for the country’s worst oil spill with Dick Cheney’s old company. This should be fun to watch.