Witness: BP Took 'Shortcuts' Before Well Blowout

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Witness statements show senior managers complained oil giant BP was "taking shortcuts" by replacing heavy drilling fluid with saltwater in the well that blew out, triggering the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The statements were obtained by The Associated Press.

A roustabout for drilling rig owner Transocean -- Truitt Crawford -- told Coast Guard investigators about the complaints. The seawater would have provided less weight to contain surging pressure from the ocean depths.

Crawford said in his statement that he overheard upper management saying BP was taking shortcuts by displacing the well
with saltwater instead of mud.

BP was leasing the rig when it exploded April 20, killing 11
workers. A spokesman declined comment.

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