Reuters: “First spill trial witness: BP put cost cuts over safety”

by Jon on February 27, 2013

in BP, Disasters, Ecological Disasters

The oil slick in the gulf

Deepwater Horizon Oil Slick, May 10, 2010.

From Reuters reporting on the BP oil spill trial;  First spill trial witness: BP put cost cuts over safety.

BP Plc fostered a culture that put cost-cutting over safety before the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a noted forensic engineer said in the first day of testimony in the federal civil trial centered on the disaster. “There is ample evidence of intense pressure within the system to save time and money,” said Bob Bea, co-founder of the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at the University of California, Berkeley. “With stress and pressure come sacrifices to safety.” Bea was the first witness for the plaintiffs, the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Gulf Coast states suing Macondo well owner BP, rig owner Transocean Ltd and well cement provider Halliburton Co. The plaintiffs plan to call Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America, to testify as a hostile witness once Bea wraps up. McKay is a member of the London-based oil company’s executive committee, alongside Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley.

Bear in mind that this was filed after the first day of a long trial. (We think we found access to transcripts at MDL 2179 Trial Docs and Plaintiffs Steering Committee, and provide better daily coverage). It’s likely that things will look worse for BP before they look better.  Of course, there is the possibility that BP, in cross-examining witnesses, and putting on its own case, will be able to demonstrate that that its conduct was entirely proper and honorable.

And also bear in mind that oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of 60,000 barrels per day for 85 days; an approximate total of 5,100,000 barrels of crude oil.

Jonathan Soroko, Esq, is an attorney and an investigative consultant. In addition to writing for Popular Logistics, he writes for Caton Ave and Discovery Strategist blog, where this is posted.

Popular Logistics Series on the Deepwater Horizon / Macondo Spill

  1. Fossil Fuels and a Walk on the Moon, May 3, 2010.
  2. Drill Baby Drill or Drill Baby Oops, May 7, 2010.
  3. The Magnitude of the Spill, May 15, 2010.
  4. One Month After The Spill BP Siphoning 3,000 Barrels Per Day, May 20, 2010.
  5. Deep Water Horizon – The Chernobyl of Deepwater Drilling?, June 2, 2010.
  6. The Deepwater Horizon: 40,000 Barrels Per Day or 70,000, June 13, 2010.
  7. The Deepwater Horizon After the Macondo Well Explosion, June 19, 2010.
  8. Deepwater Horizon – Bombs and Hurricanes, July 1, 2010,
  9. Like a Bad High School Math Problem, July 14, 2010,
  10. Crisis Management and the Gulf Oil Spill, July 16, 2010,
  11. The Deepwater Horizon: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, October 7, 2010.

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