AP070101032319The federal commission appointed by President Obama to investigate the causes of the BP oil disaster continues to trickle out revelations. The latest: its finding that Minerals Management Service agents tasked with regulating offshore drilling often knew very little, and in some cases nothing, about the operations they were supposed to be overseeing on drilling rigs and platforms.
Specifically, the commission found that many MMS agents knew little or nothing about how drilling crews should go about safely lining and sealing an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico -- one of the systematic failures that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion April 20.
"When we asked about cementing and centralizers, they said very freely, 'We don't know about that stuff; we have to trust the companies,' " commission co-chairman William Reilly said this week. "All they get is on-the-job training. It really is fairly startling, considering how sophisticated the industry has become. And the inspectors themselves are quite aware of their needs."Read More »from Some oil regulators knew nothing of processes they oversaw, panel finds