The BP oil disaster: More than shortcuts

One of the more curious aspects of coverage of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf, is how little attention an early interview with a worker on the Deepwater Horizon platform got.

Today, for example, the Associated Press is carrying a story headlined:

Witness: BP took ‘shortcuts’ before well blowout

The AP story is based on documents it obtained:

Truitt Crawford, a roustabout for drilling rig owner Transocean LTD, told Coast Guard investigators about the complaints. The seawater, which would have provided less weight to contain surging pressure from the ocean depths, was being used to prepare for dropping a final blob of cement into the well.

“I overheard upper management talking saying that BP was taking shortcuts by displacing the well with saltwater instead of mud without sealing the well with cement plugs, this is why it blew out,” Crawford said in his statement.

It was a fascinating account, but it’s not really new. Mike Williams, a worker on the rig, had already documented the story in a 60 Minutes interview almost two weeks ago, that got very little attention in the news cycle.

Shortcuts may be too gentle a word for what happened on the Deepwater Horizon.

  • karen

    I watched this interview with Mike Williams on 60 Minutes. Why did AP just pick it up? Mr. Williams was pretty much left for dead on the rig and after he jumped in the sea. A nearby fishing boat picked him up. There’s a coverup here.

  • Bob Collins

    There are some hearings underway on this. Perhaps that’s why previously unnoticed coverage is now getting repeated.

  • Tyler

    I can’t understand people’s apathy at this calamity. It’s disturbing to me that there isn’t more of an uproar at BP (and Haliburton and Transoceean) for *lying* about what has gone on in the Gulf.

    My favorite irony of the situation? BP executives were ON THE RIG to celebrate its safety record, even as safety checks were being bypassed (on the blowout preventer, etc)