Finding 2.6: Evidence available before the blowout indicated that the flapper valves in the float collar probably failed to seal, but this evidence was not acted on at the time.

Finding 2.7: On the basis of photographic evidence, it appears that flow was up the inside of the casing, because the inside of the hanger showed signs of fluid erosion while the outside did not. However, not installing a lockdown sleeve left a potential for flow up the annulus.

Finding 2.8: Because of the choice of the long string of production casing, it was not possible to reciprocate or rotate the casing during the cementing operation. Casing movement tends to help remove any mud left in the path of the cement and force the cement into pathways that might otherwise be bypassed. The minimum circulation of mud was not achieved in this well, which would have been helpful in removing stagnant mud and debris from the annulus. Thus, the possibility of mud-filled channels or poor cement bonding existed.

Finding 2.9: No cement bond log was run to investigate the condition of the cement. The well design placed the float collar above the bottom of the deepest reservoir and would have prevented the log from investigating the lower sections of the well in which cement had been pumped.

Finding 2.10: Although data were being transmitted to shore, it appears that no one in authority (from BP onshore management or a regulatory agency) was required to examine test results and other critical data and render an opinion to the personnel on the rig before operations could continue.


Summary Observation 2.1: While the geologic conditions encountered in the Macondo well posed challenges to the drilling team, alternative completion techniques and operational processes were available that could have been used to prepare the well safely for temporary abandonment.

Observation 2.2: Had an attempt been made to bleed off the drill pipe pressure at the end of the negative test, the communication with the reservoir would likely have been discovered.

Observation 2.3: The results of a variety of static tests of foamed cement mixed at 14.5 ppg and exposed to atmospheric pressure call into question the stability of the foam, because settling of cement and breakout of nitrogen were observed in these tests. The tests were not performed at condi-

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