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BP report blames itself, others for oil spill

September 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An internal report says that BP blames itself, other companies' workers and a series of failures for the massive Gulf oil spill and the drilling rig explosion that preceded it.The report was released on the BP's website Wednesday even though investigators have not yet begun to fully analyze the blowout preventer that should have cut off the flow of oil from the ruptured well but did not.

That means BP's report is far from the definitive ruling on the blowout's causes, but it may provide some hint of the company's legal strategy - spreading the blame among itself, rig owner Transocean, and cement contractor Halliburton.

The oil giant faces hundreds of lawsuits and possible criminal charges over the spill. Government investigators and congressional panels are looking into the cause as well.

Critics of BP called the report self-serving.

An attorney whose firm represents more than 1,000 fisherman, hotels, and restaurants affected by the spill, was more blunt.

"BP blaming others for the Gulf oil disaster is like Bernie Madoff blaming his accountant," he said.

Industry experts, members of Congress and workers who survived the rig explosion have accused BP's engineers of cutting corners to save time and money on a project that was 43 days and more than $20 million behind schedule at the time of the blast.

Latest developments:

  • Outgoing BP chief Tony Hayward, who is being replaced Oct. 1 by American Bob Dudley, said in a statement that a bad cement job and a failure of a barrier at the bottom of the well let oil and gas leak out.
  • Transocean blasted BP's report, calling it a self-serving attempt to conceal the real cause of the explosion, which it blamed on what it called "BP's fatally flawed well design."
  • Halliburton said in a statement of its own that it found a number of omissions and inaccuracies in the report and is confident the work it completed on the well met BP's specifications.
  • In midday trading in New York, BP shares were up $1.15, or 3 percent, to $38.32.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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