Tests performed before the deadly blowout of BP's oil well in the Gulf should have raised doubts about the cement used to seal the well, but the company and its cementing contractor used it anyway, investigators with the president's oil spill commission said today. The finding appears to conflict with statements made by contractor Halliburton, which has said tests showed the cement mix was stable.
The panel says only one of four tests by Halliburton on the cement's stability showed that it would hold. It's not clear to what extent Halliburton raised the issue as a red flag to BP. "Halliburton (and perhaps BP) should have considered redesigning the foam slurry before pumping it at the Macondo well," wrote the commission's chief counsel. More details at the Wall Street Journal. (Read more British Petroleum stories.)