Wednesday, January 12, 2011

National Commission Releases Final Report on Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Future of Offshore Drilling

by David Rachovich
The Presidentially-appointed Oil Spill Commission yesterday (Jan 11) released its landmark, definitive report, Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling, on the causes and consequences of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, and proposed comprehensive reforms of both government and industry practices to overhaul the U.S. approach to drilling safety and greatly reduce the chances of a similar, large scale disaster in the future.

“Our investigation shows that a series of specific and preventable human and engineering failures were the immediate causes of the disaster,” said Commission Co-Chair William K. Reilly. “But, in fact, this disaster was almost the inevitable result of years of industry and government complacency and lack of attention to safety. This was indisputably the case with BP, Transocean, and Halliburton, as well as the government agency charged with regulating offshore drilling—the former Minerals Management Service [now BOEMRE]. As drilling pushes into ever deeper and riskier waters where more of America’s oil lies, only systemic reforms of both government and industry will prevent a similar, future disaster.”

“The reforms needed to prevent future disasters are spelled out today in black and white,” said Commission Co-Chair Bob Graham. “Specific actions must be taken by Congress, by the Administration, and by industry to reduce the likelihood of a similar tragedy. If they are not taken, the probability of another failure will be dramatically greater. The people of the Gulf who have suffered so much deserve to know what their government and the industry are going to do.”

The Commission’s full 398-page report is available for download on the Commission's website at

Multi-media presentations of the Commission’s recommendations and findings are also available at

Last week, the Commission released an advance chapter of its report. -- See blog post here.

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