The presidential commission investigating the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that killed 11 workers and set off a months-long, uninterrupted spill of oil into the Gulf of Mexico said Thursday that both Halliburton and BP knew weeks before the catastrophe that the cement mixture used to seal the bottom of the well was unstable, yet they went ahead with the job, according to an article on The New York Times’ website.

Citing a letter delivered to the commission Thursday by chief investigator Fred H. Bartlit Jr., the commission announced three laboratory tests on the cement conducted by Halliburton, including one just a week before the accident, indicated the cement mixture didn’t meet industry standards. The results of that final test were not, however, forwarded to BP, whose own internal investigation into the explosion weeks later blamed Halliburton’s cement mixture for the mishap. In public testimony, Halliburton has said it used a proper cement formula on the well and instead blamed a faulty well design by BP.

Bartlit does not identify the faulty cement mixture as the sole or main cause of the explosion.

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