Excerpt re the history of this project that might be relevant to this story
"BP was drilling to tap an oil reservoir it had identified called Macondo, the same name as the cursed town in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel "One
Hundred Years of Solitude." As on many past projects, BP hired a drilling rig from Transocean, the largest deep-water driller. Workers from
Transocean and other contractors did most of the work, under the supervision of BP employees on the rig and in Houston.
BP started working on the well in October, using a different rig. After three weeks natural gas got into the well, called a "kick." That's not
uncommon. But two weeks later a hurricane damaged the rig and it had to be towed to port for repairs.
BP started again in January, this time with Transocean's Deepwater Horizon, a warhorse rig that had worked for BP for years. BP filed a new drilling
permit with federal regulators.
According to a company document seen by the Journal, BP approved spending $96.2 million and about 78 days on the well. The target time was much
less—about 51 days. By April 20, the well was in its 80th day, owing to delays such as one that had begun on March 8.
That day, workers discovered that gas was seeping into the well, according to drilling reports from the rig reviewed by the Journal. Workers lowered a
measuring device to determine what was happening, but when they tried to pull it back up, it wouldn't budge. Engineers eventually told them to plug
the last 2,000 feet of the then-13,000-foot hole with cement and continue the well by drilling off in a different direction.
The episode took days to resolve, according to drilling reports, not counting time lost to backtracking and re-drilling. Each additional day cost BP
$1 million in rig lease and contractor fees.
Other problems arose. The rock was so brittle in places that drilling mud cracked it open and escaped. One person familiar with the matter estimates
BP lost at least $15 million worth of the fluid.
Still, by mid-April, the well seemed a qualified success. BP was convinced it had found a lot of oil. Until engineers in Houston could make plans to
start pumping it out, the workers on the nearly complete well, in a standard practice, would plug it and temporarily abandon it."
This is a really outstanding article anyway- as far as details go & about as reliable a source as exists. It is very damning, fortunately or