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The committee also heard that BP was aware of problems on the semisub before the explosion. Representatives said documents and company briefings suggested that BP, Transocean and Halliburton ignored tests that flagged up faults in the BOP. Committee chairman Henry Waxman said: "It appears the companies did not suspend operations, and now 11 workers are dead and the gulf faces an environmental catastrophe." The committee heard testimony from oil executives suggesting multiple failures of safety systems that should have given advance warning of a blowout, or should have promptly cut off the flow of oil.
A 2007 MMS study found that although blowouts with offshore drilling operations were becoming less frequent, less deadly and less polluting, cementing-associated troubles persisted. Cementing problems were associated with 18 of 39 blowouts between 1992 and 2006, and 18 of 70 from 1971 to 1991. There were 17 blowouts in the earlier period where contributing factors