The Wall Street Journal Online has an interesting story about the oil rig explosion. Which, as usual, didn’t have to happen.
It’s a familiar recipe for disaster: possibly shoddy work, Bush-era ‘voluntary compliance’ with regulations, regular safety violations . . . and now another familiar ingredient, Halliburton. You know, those fine folks who electrocuted those showering soldiers in Iraq? Good old Halliburton.
Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.
The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.
Federal officials declined to comment on their investigation, and Halliburton didn’t respond to questions from The Wall Street Journal.
Halliburton also was the cementer on a well that suffered a big blowout last August in the Timor Sea, off Australia. The rig there caught fire and a well leaked tens of thousands of barrels of oil over 10 weeks before it was shut down. The investigation is continuing; Halliburton declined to comment on it.