Oil in the marshes in Louisiana
BP hired a top oilfield service company to test the strength of cement linings on the Deepwater Horizon's well, but sent the firm's workers home 11 hours before the rig exploded April 20 without performing a final check that a top cementing company executive called "the only test that can really determine the actual effectiveness" of the well's seal.
A spokesman for the testing firm, Schlumberger, said BP had a Schlumberger team and equipment for sending acoustic testing lines down the well "on standby" from April 18 to April 20. But BP never asked the Schlumberger crew to perform the acoustic test and sent its members back to Louisiana on a regularly scheduled helicopter flight at 11 a.m., Schlumberger spokesman Stephen T. Harris said.
At a few minutes before 10 p.m., a belch of natural gas shot out of the well, up a riser pipe to the rig above, igniting massive explosions, killing 11 crewmembers and sending millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf. The rig's owner, Transocean, blames failed cement seals, installed by Halliburton, for the disastrous blowout.
The truth seeps out slowly, because BP has not been forthcoming in releasing information. Senate committee hearings on the oil gusher seem to be accomplishing their mission, which is to gather all pertinent information.
Also from NOLA.com:
The White House is asking BP PLC to publicly disclose more information about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, including measurements of the size of the leak 5,000 feet under the sea and air quality.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the White House is writing to BP asking the company to put that information on its website and be more transparent about its response.
BP is under fire as scientists dispute the company's estimate of how much oil is spilling into the Gulf.
For weeks BP has said the flow is 210,000 gallons a day, but scientists say the amount could be much higher. A BP official conceded Thursday there could be more.
Scientists also are criticizing government agencies for not pushing the company harder to let independent experts take measurements.
It's about time for the White House to stop relying on BP's words. From day one of the explosion, BP issued incomplete and misleading information. Why have the Obama administration and the federal agencies been so trusting and credulous and not moved forward more quickly with plans to verify BP's statements and findings?
BP says it is now collecting 3000 barrels of oil a day from the leak, but the amount of oil gushing from the well is under dispute, so we still don't know how much is being released into the Gulf.
More oil in the marshes of Louisiana
Images from The Huffington Post.