(5 Dumbest article updated with Halliburton's response to the presidential commission findings on its cement.)
5. Halliburton Cement Lacking in Cement-like Qualities
When someone blows a recipe, we hope it's for something mundane like cookies or pumpkin pie, not cement intended for use on deep water oil rigs.
Leave it to Halliburton (HAL - Get Report) to not only mess up that recipe, but to spend months denying any culpability for the role its cement played in the BP (BP - Get Report) oil spill. Halliburton's party line up to this point has been that their cement job was juuuust right, and that BP's inferior rig design was to blame for one of the worst environmental catastrophes in U.S. history.
According to a report issued on Thursday from the presidential commission investigating the disaster, three of four tests Halliburton conducted on the cement prior to the rig explosion showed it to be unstable. Two of those four cement recipes were identical to those Halliburton used for BP's Macondo well. The one set of test results that did show stable cement may not have even been available at the time of the work on the Macondo well.
Did Halliburton bother to sound the alarm as a result? Not exactly, said the commission. Halliburton appears to have communicated the cement test results, but didn't really do so in a way that would have, oh, maybe drawn some serious attention to the matter. Go figure.Unfortunately for BP, the latest revelation in this mess by no means gets BP off the hook. Maybe former CEO Tony Hayward is getting some hollow satisfaction that his seemingly childish whines about Halliburton's "bad cement job" -- which he made repeatedly following the explosion and in the company's interim report -- have been proven to have some validity. The report even says that proper cement stability should have prevented the deepwater well blowout. That said, the commission also found that there were likely several causes of the explosion and that BP's full knowledge of the cement problems still isn't entirely known.