US Justice Department to Test Cement from BP's Macondo Well

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones Newswires), Sep. 13, 2010

Federal prosecutors plan to test the cement used in the blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, a step that will put under scrutiny BP's conclusion that the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history started with faulty cement.

BP said in a report last week that the cement-nitrogen mixture pumped by Halliburton into the base of the Macondo well was "likely unstable," a condition that could cause the cement to shrink down and leave gaps for hydrocarbons to enter. It said that Halliburton didn't conduct enough testing to ensure that the cement would work. Halliburton said the report contained "substantial omissions and inaccuracies," but declined to be specific.

"The Department of Justice is presently working with Halliburton to secure cement evidence from the well and, when that process is complete, the Commission and other investigators will work with them to obtain desired test protocols," the commission established by U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement on Monday.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on any specific tests it may be conducting as part of the investigation.

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