NEW ORLEANS — In an internal report released Wednesday, BP blames itself, other companies' workers and a complex series of failures for the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the drilling rig explosion that preceded it.
The 193-page report was posted on the company's website even though investigators have not yet begun to fully analyze a key piece of equipment, the blowout preventer, that should have cut off the flow of oil from the ruptured well but did not.
That means BP's report is far from the definitive ruling on the blowout's causes, but it may provide some hint of the company's legal strategy — spreading the blame around between itself, rig owner Transocean, and cement contractor Halliburton — as it faces hundreds of lawsuits and possible criminal charges over the spill. Government investigators and congressional panels are looking into the cause as well.
Members of Congress, industry experts and workers who survived the rig explosion have accused BP's engineers of cutting corners to save time and money on a project that was 43 days and more than $20 million behind schedule at the time of the blast.
BP's report acknowledged, as investigators have previously suggested, that its engineers and employees of Transocean misinterpreted a pressure test of the well's integrity. It also blamed employees on the rig from both companies for failing to respond to warning signs that the well was in danger of blowing out.
Outgoing BP chief Tony Hayward, who is being replaced Oct. 1 by American Bob Dudley, said in a statement that there was a bad cement job and a failure of a barrier at the bottom of the well that let oil and gas leak out.