September 8, 2010 | Mark Paradies

Comments on the BP Internal Investigation – Mark’s and Others’

After a quick review of the report (I’ve spent that last six hours watching the video, reviewing the slides, and reading the report), I think that BP has done an OK job of identifying Causal Factors (that they call Key Findings).

The ones they seem to have missed deal with:

Failed to Perform Cement Evaluation Log (this was a part of one of their Key factors but it is so important, it should be separate)

Failing to Perform Bottoms Up Circulation Prior to Cementing

They also seemed to combine Causal Factors into Key Factors. They had eight Key Factors. I counted 15 separate Causal Factors.

However, once the Key Factors were identified, BP didn’t seem to do any root cause analysis. Instead, the report seemed to point fingers at those involved – especially highlighting the Halliburton cement job.

Here was Halliburton’s response:

As we continue to review BP’s internal report published earlier today, we have noticed a number of substantial omissions and inaccuracies in the document,” a Halliburton spokeswoman noted in a statement. “Halliburton remains confident that all the work it performed with respect to the Macondo well was completed in accordance with BP’s specifications for its well construction plan and instructions, and that it is fully indemnified under its contract for any of the allegations contained in the report.

Deepwater operations are inherently complex and a number of contractors are involved which routinely make recommendations to a single point of contact, the well owner. The well owner is responsible for designing the well program and any testing related to the well. Contractors do not specify well design or make decisions regarding testing procedures as that responsibility lies with the well owner.

Even though BP did not identify root causes, they did come up with a number of recommendations to address the Key Findings. It’s a fools game to evaluate corrective actions in the absence of root cause analysis, so I won’t try.

Here are comments by news agencies about the report:

News Corp – BP Gulf Spill Investigation Finds ‘Sequence of Failures’

BBC – BP spreads blame over oil spill

Fuel Fix – Spill hearings: Hail Mary, pouring cement, Halliburton’s got good game

Fuel Fix – Bly reaction: “BP is happy to slice up blame, as long as they get the smallest piece.”

That’s just a sample … You can find many more.

When the dust settles, it certainly will be interesting to compare the results of the Transocean, CSB, and Independent Commission reports to BPs.

What do you think? Review the report and the comments of others and let me know. Leave your comments here…

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