Congress

May 11, 2010

Gulf oil spill inquiry focuses on role of costly drilling mud

Investigators on Tuesday homed in on whether an uncommon sequence of events involving a decision to remove heavy drilling lubricants early from a pipeline may have triggered the sudden upwelling of gas that led to the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. One executive testifying before a Senate panel said the early removal of the lubricants, which contribute about 10 percent of the cost of drilling a well, came at the behest of BP and may have been approved by the government agency that oversees offshore drilling.

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