BP Settlement Claims

Gulf Coast Disaster News

Final Oil-Spill Report Chastises BP, Others

September 14, 2011, 10:26 am

Federal investigators released their final report Wednesday on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon drilling-rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last year, castigating BP PLC and its contractors for risky decisions and criticizing the government for oversight gaps.

The report—issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement—contains dozens of recommendations to improve safety in the offshore oil industry. These include changes to ensure gas isn't sucked into engines and to strengthen the blowout preventer, a set of valves designed to be the last line of defense if a crew loses control of a well.

The government also wants to require operators to more thoroughly report well-control problems, which would allow the government for the first time to determine if particular companies have more near-misses.

The report says government regulations could be strengthened and suggests more unannounced inspections on deep-water rigs. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the agency had largely stopped conducting surprise inspections.

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