An oil-drilling procedure called cementing is coming under scrutiny as a possible cause of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that has led to one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history…

The process is supposed to prevent oil and natural gas from escaping by filling gaps between the outside of the well pipe and the inside of the hole bored into the ocean floor. Cement, pumped down the well from the drilling rig, is also used to plug wells after they have been abandoned or when drilling has finished but production hasn’t begun.

In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, workers had finished pumping cement to fill the space between the pipe and the sides of the hole and had begun temporarily plugging the well with cement; it isn’t known whether they had completed the plugging process before the blast.

Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force…

The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week…

Halliburton also was the cementer on a well that suffered a big blowout last August in the Timor Sea, off Australia. The rig there caught fire and a well leaked tens of thousands of barrels of oil over 10 weeks before it was shut down. The investigation is continuing…

Federal officials declined to comment on their investigation, and Halliburton didn’t respond to questions from The Wall Street Journal.

Golly gee, that’s a surprise.




  1. Paul Camp says:

    So when will we be able to declare Halliburton a menace to humanity and give them the corporate death penalty?

  2. ECA says:

    31,
    IF we can find THEIR new name and the correct department…we might have a chance..IF it hasnt been sold off to another group.

  3. t0llyb0ng says:

    Cement & nothing but cement. No sand & no aggregates. What could possibly go wrong?

    % % % % % % % %

    beholding to the oil industry sb beholden

    may be a mute point sb moot

  4. soundwash says:

    –just another rigged distraction to keep the mind numbed masses from seeing what the other
    hand is doing.

    -the fleecing shall continue unabated.

    (get out of paper while you still can)

    -s

  5. JimD says:

    Ah, Halliburton – Prick Cheney’s handiwork !!! And another DISASTER FOR AMERICA !!! Wonder how soon BP will want a bailour !!!

    P.S. for Milo #5 – When the Conservatives took over the Wall Street Journal, they had to LOWER THE READING AGE LEVEL TO 8TH GRADE SO CONSERVATIVES COULD UNDERSTAND IT !!! Previously the level was “Graduate Level” !!!

  6. MikeN says:

    Hmm, the Obama Administration announces a new policy on oil drilling, and then this happens to allow them to ban oil drilling. The damage is worse because they waited many days to send out the ‘SWAT teams’, making the environmental impact worse, and making their argument easier to make. Wonder what Halliburton gets for their cooperation.

  7. smartalix says:

    Mextli,

    Not using a safety valve on that rig to save $500,000 in the face of a (now realized) billion-dollar disaster, for one.

    The other issue here is the process in question, one that regulators previously alerted the company to. Why not stop doing it until it is proven whether it is dangerous or not?

    Why are you an apologist for the evil greedy short-cutting bastards who allowed this disaster to happen? This must be Obama’s fault, right? It can’t be years of GOP chipping away at environmental regulation, right?

    People like you both puzzle and disgust me. Why do you defend these people? What benefit does avoiding regulation provide to the country? Why do you apologize for these people, especially in light of the fact that THINGS COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO PREVENT THIS?

  8. smartalix says:

    MikeN,

    You surprise me with that dumb-ass comment #36. You are better than this.

  9. MikeN says:

    Any dumber than blaming Halliburton for everything?

    Why is Obama sending SWAT teams to all of the oil rigs, not just the ones that blew up? Does he think there are terrorists at work here?

  10. smartalix says:

    I’m not blaming Halliburton. RMFC. I am blaming the cycle of greed and shortcuts and bypassed and ignored regulation by corporations operating in this country. I am blaming asswipe senators who take lobbyist money and block legislation like financial reform or mine safety or the safety requirements for an offshore oil rig. WHY are we among the few countries that do not require that missing safety valve, for example?

    So to answer your question, I am not targeting any one company, I am targeting the right-wing culture of F*CK EVERYBODY.

    True, the Left is corrupt, but they are too stupid to be this evil.

  11. Mick Hamblen says:

    Could this have been a terrorist attack? Isn’t there a 2nd well burning?

  12. Skeptic of the AOBCCS says:

    Smartalix, I agree with you, but the insidiousness runs much deeper. Ordinary Americans demand to be free of Arab oil and support the elected officials. The way to stay in power is to kiss the ass of the electorate. That 500,000 valve would have saved the day… or not. The initial explosion was caused by a poor cement job…. which happens so frequently that would say the process is inadequate, but there’s no alternative… so everyone involved just takes the risk and crosses their fingers.

    The well should NEVER have been allowed in such deep water and so close to shore, in the first place… valve or no valve!

    Everyone is to blame.

  13. MikeN says:

    Why didn’t people make such a big deal when a coal mine blew up? Do seals count more than workers in West Virginia?

  14. John M. says:

    What I find frustrating is that there are no products on the shelf which Halliburton markets directly to the American people. Everything they do *facilitates* the creation of things we need – gasoline, continued war in Iraq, etc. – and so they’re a hard target to use our wallets against. Even Enron made something people needed (though it’s pretty hard to not use electricity, unless you bought [gulp] BP Solar-brand photovoltaic cells).

    With cronies of the former #2 in tight control of the company and the regulators, it seems impossible to think that there’s going to be any real accountability for this. At least JPMorganChase got some public embarrassment in NYC when people dropped paper sacks of WV dirt in their lobbies. It didn’t bring people back from the dead, yet it was an achievable gesture.

  15. spat says:

    HEY
    # 23 boolez said,

    WOULD YOU HIRE HALLIBURTON TO RAPE YOUR SISTER?

  16. Buzz says:

    From the All You Have To Do Is department:

    Float a platform in a mile deep area.

    Snake a line down to the ocean bottom.

    Drill two miles past that.

    Wait for something to go wrong.

    What could it possibly BE?

  17. smartalix says:

    43,

    There has been a lot of accusation about bad GOP senators and lax regulation due to their actions as a casue of the mining disaster. AND the finanical disaster. AND the medical reform issue, AND…

    The right seems to only have the aganda of “f*ck you buddy, I got mine”.

  18. CommieLibertarian says:

    So, for an extra $500,000 they could have reduced the chance of this happening with a remote valve control. But some corporate executive got to pocket part of the “savings” he created by vetoing the extra cost of the better safety equipment. Reduce costs => get big bonus. As long as corporations can buy congressmen for less than the cost of the safety equipment, they will.


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