Gulf Oil Spill, Day 57: House: BP Cut Corners; Pickens: Investigation Can Wait

WASHINGTON (June 15, 2010)-More revelations emerged Monday about BP's cost and safety decisions during the days leading up to the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

The disclosures are from internal documents released by a House committee.

Investigators found that BP was badly behind schedule on the project and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars each day. The company then cut corners in well design and the installation of key safety devices.

BP started drilling in October 2009, but the rig was damaged by Hurricane Ida the following month.

The company switched to a new rig, the Deepwater Horizon, and resumed drilling in February. The rig was 43 days late for its next drilling location when it exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers.

Pickens: Investigation Can Wait
Meanwhile in Austin, billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens is urging investigators to leave BP alone for now while the oil company works to stop the spewing oil.

Pickens told reporters Monday he didn't know if BP was negligent in the case but said he doesn't like having an investigation while officials try to fix the problem. He says he thinks there's "plenty of time to investigate it."

President Tours Affected Regions
On the Gulf Coast, President Barack Obama is expected to wrap up his fourth trip to the region Tuesday then addresses the nation on the oil spill crisis.

On stops in Mississippi and Alabama, the president tried to sound both in command and upbeat, saying he's confident the Gulf Coast will eventually be "in better shape than it was before."

Government estimates put the total amount of crude spilled into the Gulf of Mexico at between 40.7 million and 114.5 million gallons.

A containment cap has been placed over the damaged well, siphoning off some of the oil spewing out from 5,000 feet below the ocean's surface.

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