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BP had warning signs before Gulf blast: panel

Tue, 05/25/2010 - 9:24pm
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - BP Plc told congressional investigators on Tuesday that pressure tests on a drill pipe showed a fundamental mistake hours before the deadly explosion that caused the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, a memo released by two congressmen showed.

The memo by Representatives Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak, who were briefed by BP about the progress of its internal investigation, also said problems were found in equipment meant to provide fail-safe protection against a blow out.

A BP investigator indicated to the lawmakers that the fundamental mistake may have been made because heavy pressure on the drill line of 1,400 pounds per square inch (98 kg per square cm) was an "indicator of a very large abnormality."

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