深水地平線鑽油平台爆炸導致原油現在仍然從油井破口湧入墨西哥灣，然而在爆炸前6天，一名英國石油的鑽油工程師便稱它為「惡夢般的油井」。 4月14日，鑽油工程師布萊恩‧莫雷(Brian Morel)寄送電子郵件給一位同事，談及英國石油選擇以水泥來保固這座油井。他寫道：「這座一直是個惡夢般的油井，這裡的每件事情都雜亂無章。」
委員會主席維克曼(Henry Waxman)與附屬委員會主席斯圖帕克(Bart Stupak)寫道：「委員會中呈現的證據令人質疑英國石油所做的各項決策。證據一而再顯示出，英國石油做出讓油井噴發風險增加的決策，是要省下公司的時間與花費。假如確實是這麼回事，英國石油的疏忽大意與自得意滿已經嚴重傷害到墨西哥灣、其居民與鑽油平台上的工人。」
委員會特別著重在英國石油做出的5個重要決策： 1. 決定使用一個只有少數防護以阻止天然氣外流的油井設計。2. 未使用足夠的「扶正器」防止原油在水泥作業過程時傳送。3. 未能執行水泥封固能力測試以評估水泥作業之效果。4. 未能將可能含有天然氣的鑽井泥漿導引出油井。5. 未能在以鎖緊用的套桶確保油井口安全之前，便將來自油井下的壓力密封起來。
Six days before the Deepwater Horizon explosion that broke the wellhead still gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a BP drilling engineer called it a "nightmare well."
On April 14, drilling engineer Brian Morel e-mailed a colleague about the BP's options for securing the well with cement. He wrote, "this has been [a] nightmare well which has everyone all over the place."
The comment is contained in a letter sent Monday to BP CEO Tony Hayward by legislators to alert Hayward to the issues he will be expected to address when he appears to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday.
The letter outlines the findings of committee's independent investigation into the explosion that resulted in the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig.
"Evidence before the Committee calls into question multiple decisions made by BP. Time after time, it appears that BP made decisions that increased the risk of a blowout to save the company time or expense. If this is what happened, BP's carelessness and complacency have inflicted a heavy toll on the Gulf, its inhabitants, and the workers on the rig," wrote Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak.
In particular, the Committee is focusing on five crucial decisions made by BP:
* the decision to use a well design with few barriers to gas flow
* the failure to use a sufficient number of "centralizers" to prevent channeling during the cement process
* the failure to run a cement bond log to evaluate the effectiveness of the cement job
* the failure to circulate potentially gas-bearing drilling muds out of the well
* the failure to secure the wellhead with a lockdown sleeve before allowing pressure on the seal from below
"The common feature of these five decisions is that they posed a trade-off between cost and well safety," Waxman and Stupak wrote.
In a congressional hearing this morning, executives of four other giant oil companies attempted to distance themselves from BP. Guarded by personal security agents, they entered the hearing room after making their way through a crowd of environmental activists holding signs reading "Big Oil Lies, People Die."
In preparation for this hearing, the committee reviewed the oil spill safety response plans for all of the five companies whose CEOs testified today.
The committe found that these five companies have identical response plans. "The plans cite identical response capabilities and tout identical ineffective equipment. In some cases, they use the exact same words," Markey said. "We found that all of these companies, not just BP, made the exact same assurances."
"Like BP, three other companies include references to protecting walruses, which have not called the Gulf of Mexico home for three million years," he said. "Two other plans are such dead ringers for BP's that they list a phone number for the same long-dead expert."