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Inquiry blames BP for "culture of complacency" at oil spill hearing

"There was not a culture of safety on that rig," according to investigator.

The British Petroleum and its partners involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, suffered from a "culture of complacency" about safety, the head of the presidential investigation into the oil spill revealed on Tuesday.

A day after releasing preliminary findings on the causes of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon Disaster that killed 11 people and created the worst offshore oil spill in US history, William Reilly, co-chairman of the White House Oil Spill Commission, said BP, rig operator Transocean and cement contractor Halliburton were all guilty of serious mistakes.

"There was not a culture of safety on that rig," Reilly said at the second day of hearings in Washington, adding each company was responsible for one or more conspicuously bad decisions.

Reilly pointed out that many of the things that occurred before the blowout at BP's Gulf of Mexico well were still inexplicable, including poorly run tests, alarming test results that were ignored, proper equipment that was sidelined and safety barriers that were removed prematurely at the high-pressure well.

However, the commission's chief investigator, Fred Bartlit repudiated the allegations of cost-cutting practices being adopted by the BP, saying that he found no concrete evidence that any of those mistakes were motivated by cost.