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Obama Oil Commission

Drilling company executive tells oil spill panel that 'reckless operating mistakes' to blame

The first public hearing by a presidential oil spill panel Monday zeroed in on the relationship between BP and the company it hired to drill the now exploded rig.In an effort to fight a new drilling moratorium, a rival drilling executive and a Louisiana congressman said other oil operators shouldn't be tarred because of one bad apple: BP's Deepwater Horizon rig.Larry Dickerson, president of a rival drilling company, told commissioners that the April 20 explosion and resulting oil spill were "the result of reckless operating mistakes."He said errors were likely made in monitoring drilling mud, in decisions on when to use the blowout preventer and about whether BP PLC or its contractor, Transocean Ltd., was in charge of safety.BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells testified at the start of the two-day hearing about what BP was doing to try to stop the leak. None of the seven commissioners asked him about the causes of the rig explosion, and Wells did not discuss the question of blame.U.S. ...

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