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BP and Halliburton's Role in the Gulf Oil Disaster-- Well Casing Horror Story

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Centering the Casing

Standard industry practice is to center the well casing to reduce the risk that channels will form in cement, letting gas flow up the well, according to the letter. BP told Halliburton on April 15 it would use six devices called centralizers on the well, while Halliburton's modeling showed 21 were needed, the lawmakers said.

When an objection was raised, BP's Morel wrote back that it was too late to get more equipment to the rig: "It's a vertical hole, so hopefully the pipe stays centralized," he said.

When 15 units were found in Houston, BP's well team leader Gregory Walz objected. "It will take 10 hours to install them,"

Walz said, according to the letter. "I do not like this."

Halliburton account representative Jesse Gagliano ran a computer model using seven centralizers. His April 18 report on the cementing design said the "well is considered to have a severe gas-flow problem," according to the letter.

Cement Bond

The decision to skip the so-called cement bond log, a test to assess the integrity of the seal, "may have been driven by concerns about expense and time," the lawmakers said. Conducting the test using a team from Schlumberger Ltd. would have cost $128,000, while canceling the work was about $10,000, the lawmakers said.

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The committee contacted Gordon Aaker, a failure analysis consultant with Engineering Services LLP in Houston, who said it was "unheard of" not to conduct the test and called BP's decision "horribly negligent."

Mud Circulation

The American Petroleum Institute recommends use of weighted mud to fill a well during the drilling process before cementing, the lawmakers said. The process, which can take as long as 12 hours, lets workers test for gas influxes and eliminate debris.

"BP decided to forego this safety step," Waxman and Stupak said.

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Lockdown Sleeve

BP opted against placing a final piece of equipment to hold the well's casing in place, called a lockdown sleeve, the lawmakers said. The device prevents the casing from floating above the head of the well and letting gases build up.

Both Transocean and Halliburton officials have told committee staff this was a key procedural mistake, the lawmakers said.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Why isn't our government providing this vital info... by Hubert Steed on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 9:08:28 AM
Continuing great OEN coverage of our now, toilet i... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 9:22:44 AM
"My source inside BP also tells me that there is c... by tjb on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 9:58:36 AM
City Brights: Yobie Benjamin : BP oil spill Corexi... by MARGARET BASET on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:07:02 AM
This is very informative and frightening. I have a... by Theresa Paulfranz on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:40:06 AM
Nuking the whole planet, rather than lose their po... by Debbie S on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 9:56:22 PM
Unless we decide quickly whether we are willing to... by Jay Farrington on Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 9:44:30 PM
When drilling a deep well, you have toincrease the... by marko polo on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:23:44 AM
Rob,Given the daily revelations of the failures of... by Paul from Potomac on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 11:27:58 AM
The power of greed can turn geniuses into idiots a... by Donald on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 11:59:57 AM
Hi Rob Good StoryWe are all running around comment... by Chris Landau on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 1:23:30 PM
I've done computer work for the accounting departm... by Kyle Griffith on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 1:41:40 PM
We are allowed to have doubts about BP's accounts ... by aberamsay on Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 10:28:22 AM
anomalies to suggest real crimes against people be... by richard on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:57:33 PM
ONE WAY TO REDUCE THE BUDGET, P... by MARGARET BASET on Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 6:27:06 AM
Rob, Thank you for thisextremely informativeartic... by Techknowledgie on Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 11:47:25 PM
Truth and facts, we must have them to survive. Thi... by Marika on Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 5:55:18 AM
This sordid tale highlights one of the central wea... by Perry Logan on Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 6:00:44 AM
It's easy for Marxists and proponents of Fabian So... by Kyle Griffith on Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 7:20:20 PM
SOTT Focus Is It Raini... by MARGARET BASET on Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 7:36:22 AM
The oil will increase the water temperature of the... by Daniel Bruno Sanz on Sunday, Jun 20, 2010 at 3:15:12 PM
The oil will increase the water temperature of the... by Daniel Bruno Sanz on Sunday, Jun 20, 2010 at 3:18:11 PM