Video Rig Survivors Speakout: BP ordered shortcut on day of blast

Posted on June 9, 2010


BP shortcut led to blast?
The morning the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, a BP executive and a Transocean official argued over how to proceed with the drilling.

The BP official wanted workers to replace heavy mud, used to keep the well’s pressure down, with lighter seawater to help speed a process that was costing an estimated $750,000 a day and was already running five weeks late, rig survivors told CNN.

BP won the argument, said Doug Brown, the rig’s chief mechanic. “He basically said, ‘Well, this is how it’s gonna be.’ ”

“That’s what the big argument was about,” added Daniel Barron III.

Click for Video………

Shortly after the exchange, chief driller Dewey Revette expressed concern and opposition too, the workers said, and on the drilling floor, they chatted among themselves.

“I don’t ever remember doing this,” they said, according to Barron.

“I think that’s why Dewey was so reluctant to try to do it,” Barron said, “because he didn’t feel it was the right way to have things done.”

Revette was among the 11 workers killed when the rig exploded that night.

In the CNN interviews, the workers described a corporate culture of cutting staff and ignoring warning signs ahead of the blast. They said BP routinely cut corners and pushed ahead despite concerns about safety.

The rig survivors also said it was always understood that you could get fired if you raised safety concerns that might delay drilling. Some co-workers had been fired for speaking out, they said.

It can cost up to $1 million a day to operate a deepwater rig, according to industry experts.

Safety was “almost used as a crutch by the company,” Barron said. He said he was once scolded for standing on a bucket on the rig, yet the next day, Transocean ordered a crane to continue operating amid high winds, against its own policies. “It’s like they used it against us — the safety policies — you know, to their advantage.

By Scott Bronstein and Wayne Drash, CNN   Click for Video………