Processing Magazine

Halliburton Says BP Well Design to Blame

September 28, 2010
BP Plc’s well design was to blame for the explosion that led to the oil spill, a Halliburton Co. executive said at a National Academies hearing in Washington, reports Bloomberg News. Thomas Roth, vice president of cementing for Houston-based Halliburton, disputed BP’s contention that his company’s cement job let oil and gas flow up to the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, contributing to the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. BP workers ignored “multiple red flags” indicating the well wasn’t sealed properly and hydrocarbons could escape, Roth said. Roth of Halliburton said BP’s test didn’t use the same materials Halliburton put in its cement and followed a different manufacturing technique. Errors Halliburton cited included a decision to use six devices to center the drill pipe within the well instead of 21, the number that Roth said his company recommended. Using fewer of these centralizers made it more difficult for the cement to seal the pipe, he said. BP officials told the panel that Halliburton’s faulty cement recipe let gas and oil escape to the surface. BP tested the recipe used by Halliburton as part of its internal investigation of the spill and said it didn’t contain the correct levels of hydrogen.