By Annie Favreau
The lead investigator for the BP oil spill said on Monday that he found no evidence that BP had taken safety shortcuts to save money.
The New York Times reported that Fred H. Bartlitt Jr., the lead investigator, disputed the findings of other investigators who accused BP and its partners Halliburton and Transocean of cutting corners to speed the completion of the well.
According to the Seer Press, Bartlitt did agree with the plaintiff's complaints that the BP employees ignored the results of a pressure test completed right before the explosion. The results of the pressure test should have sent up a warning flag for the workers, but no one reported any concern. Bartlitt also said that a lot of the evidence about the oil spill is at the bottom of the ocean and may never be obtained.
The New York Times reported that Bartlitt said, many critical questions about the accident remain unanswered. Bartlitt commented that officials do not know what caused the failure of the cement at the bottom of the well, why employees tried to close the well after failing the important pressure test, or why employees did not realize gas and oil where gushing from the well.
"To date we have not seen a single instance where a human being made a conscious decision to favor dollars over safety," said Bartlitt, defending his stance in his presentation on Monday, in the New York Times report.
Forbes reported, that Bartlitt's conclusion limits the potential liability of BP and also creates some skepticism. Forbes energy writer Christopher Helman said it is, "generally accepted wisdom among oil and gas insiders that of course BP cut corners to finish Macondo as quickly as possible."
Even with the skepticism, Forbes reported that BP shares rose by 2.9% on Tuesday after Bartlitt's announcement that BP did not cut safety corners in an attempt to save money.