Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 2:31 pm

We’re losing, but the Times-Picayune is full of WIN

Great American journalism has tended to be born from crises, and nowhere in this country in the past half-decade has there been more of a crisis than Louisiana. New Orleans’ Times-Picayune, in an era in which print journalism supposedly is dying, has risen magnificently to the challenge:

BP hired a top oilfield service company to test the strength of cement linings on the Deepwater Horizon’s well, but sent the firm’s workers home 11 hours before the rig exploded April 20 without performing a final check that a top cementing company executive called “the only test that can really determine the actual effectiveness” of the well’s seal.

A spokesman for the testing firm, Schlumberger, said BP had a Schlumberger team and equipment for sending acoustic testing lines down the well “on standby” from April 18 to April 20. But BP never asked the Schlumberger crew to perform the acoustic test and sent its members back to Louisiana on a regularly scheduled helicopter flight at 11 a.m., Schlumberger spokesman Stephen T. Harris said. …

According to [Halliburton official Tim] Probert, government regulators at the Minerals Management Service don’t require a well owner like BP to order a cement bond log unless it feels uncertain about any of the earlier tests. It’s not clear what the results of the positive and negative pressure tests were.

(h/t: Ritholtz)


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