BP Tells Feds Key Areas Probed As Gulf Spill Cause

BP PlcCompanies and CorporationsEnvironmental PollutionWater PollutionDeepwater Horizon Oil Spill (2010)Petroleum IndustryHalliburton Company

Oil giant BP is focusing on two key areasaround the blown wellhead as it probes the cause of the unchecked

Gulf of Mexico oil spill and has started to brief federalauthorities on the first results of its internal investigation.

BP PLC said in a release late Monday that its probe has notreached a final conclusion. But it said multiple control mechanismsshould have prevented the accident that started with an oil rigexplosion April 20.

The largest oil and gas producer in the Gulf listed sevenmechanisms where its hunt for a cause is focused. Four of thoseinvolve the blowout preventer, a massive piece of machinery thatsits atop the well head and is supposed to act as a safety deviceof last resort. The other three areas of investigation involve thecementing and casing of the well head.

Those points could involve one or another of three companiesthat worked with BP on the well: Transocean LTD, which owned theDeepwater Horizon oil rig and the blowout preventer; HalliburtonInc., which was responsible for encasing the well in cement; and

Cameron International Corp, which manufactured the blowoutpreventer.

President Barack Obama has blasted executives from the companiesfor pointing the finger of blame at each other during Congressionalhearings this month.

In BP's release, Chief Executive Tony Hayward stopped short ofassigning responsibility, calling the disaster "a complexaccident, caused by an unprecedented combination of failures.

"A number of companies are involved, including BP, and it issimply too early and not up to us to say who is at fault," Haywardsaid.

BP said its investigation team has begun sharing its findingswith the U.S. Department of the Interior.

BP said there was still extensive work to do, includingexamining major pieces of equipment like the blowout preventer andthe rig that are still on the seafloor.

The internal investigation started the day after the rigexploded and caught fire and is being conducted by BP's Head ofGroup Safety and Operations, who has an independent reporting lineto Hayward, the company said.

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