UpdateBP backs US safety goals, notes blame on ‘multiple parties’

11 January 2011 17:29  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds updates throughout)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--BP on Tuesday said it supported efforts by a US presidential commission to strengthen industry-wide offshore drilling safety practices, noting that blame was placed on “multiple parties” and not just on BP.

BP has cooperated fully with the presidential commission,” the company said in a statement.

“Given the emerging consensus that the Deepwater Horizon accident was the result of multiple causes involving multiple parties, we support the commission's efforts to strengthen industry-wide safety practices,” the statement continued.

“We are committed to working with government officials and other operators and contractors to identify and implement operational and regulatory changes that will enhance safety practices throughout the oil and gas industry.”

The company said it looked forward to reviewing the final report in its entirety.

In the full oil spill report issued on Tuesday, the commission said the blowout of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was preventable, citing management failures while placing blame at the door of BP and its two subcontractors, Halliburton and Transocean.

The report cited recurring themes of missed warning signals, failure to share information and a “general lack of appreciation for the risks involved.”

The commission also noted that the US oil and gas industry must take its own unilateral steps to “dramatically increase” safety in offshore drilling, as enhanced regulatory oversight alone would not be sufficient.

The report drew a mixed reaction from the American Petroleum Institute (API), which said it was pleased the commission was recommending increased funding for offshore regulators but also said it was “deeply concerned” that the report cast doubt on the entire industry based on a single incident.

Halliburton and Transocean did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on 20 April 2010 killed 11 workers. It caused a huge oil leak, which led to the largest spill in US Gulf history before it was plugged in August.

Additional reporting by Joe Kamalick in Washington

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By: Ben DuBose
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