What a shambles!

Obama and the US media placed the entire blame for the oil spill on BP but I doubt that poor American drilling procedures and slack Federal regulation can be ignored. The Gulf of Mexico tragedy arose from a series of mechanical failures, human mis-judgments, engineering design faults, operational errors and poor teamwork. The initial explosion was triggered by methane gas escaping from the well, shooting up the drill column, and bursting all the seals and barriers before igniting. The Texas firm Cameron International’s blowout preventer which failed to seal the well pipe at the sea bottom has finally been recovered and will be examined by NASA. Halliburton was part of a similar disaster last year in the Timor Sea and it is surely unacceptable that eight separate safety systems broke down on the Transocean rig.

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