Socialist Worker

Did push for profit cause rig accident?

Issue No. 2202

BP workers described the well as “troublesome” in the weeks leading up to the explosion.

The day before the explosion there were three “sudden loud noises as bursts of pressure had been released”.

Pressure tests had shown a “disturbing imbalance”.

Mike Williams, Deepwater Horizon chief electronics technician, said a BP manager pressured workers to speed up the drilling on the rig before it exploded.

“‘Hey, let’s bump it up. Let’s bump it up’,” Williams recalled of the BP manager’s request.

“He’s bumping up the rate of penetration—how fast the drill bit is going down.”

A geyser of mud and water shot 100 metres into the air above the rig and natural gas from below the sea found a spark to set the structure ablaze.

Workers dove into lifeboats or leapt into the waters to escape. Eleven of them didn’t make it.

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Tue 18 May 2010, 17:44 BST
Issue No. 2202
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