E-mail from BP engineer called Deepwater Horizon rig a ‘nightmare well’ six days before explosion.

Tomorrow, the chief executives of the five big oil companies — including BP’s Tony Hayward — are going to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. According to an e-mail released by that Committee today, a BP drilling engineer warned that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was a “nightmare well” that had caused the company problems in the past. The e-mail came just six days before the well exploded:


More than five weeks before the disaster, the Deepwater rig was hit by several sudden pulsations of gas called “kicks” and a pipe had become stuck in the well. In fact, the well had to be shut down because of “one intense kick of natural gas.” The blowout preventer was discovered to be leaking fluid three separate times. “As early as June 2009, BP engineers had expressed concerns in internal documents about using certain casings for the well because they violated the company’s safety and design guidelines.”