A U.S. presidential panel has concluded that energy firm BP and its partners made a series of "systemic" cost-cutting decisions that led to the oil spill that polluted the Gulf Of Mexico coast last year.
In its final report on the causes of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, the commission on January 5 said that many of the decisions made by BP and its partners, Halliburton and Transocean, had saved the companies "significant" time and money, but had increased the risk of an accident.
The commission added that government regulators lacked the necessary authority, resources, and technical expertise to oversee the companies, and that without "significant" reform in both oil industry practices and government policies, it remains possible that another similar disaster could occur.
BP, Halliburton, and Transocean were the three key companies involved in the operations of the undersea well and rig that exploded last April, killing 11 workers and sending millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf.
Several other investigations into the explosion are under way, including one by the U.S. Justice Department and another by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement panel.