BP is set to release a 200-page report Wednesday in which the corporation will accept some, but not all of the blame, for one of the worst oil spills in history, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The report, organized by about 70 "mostly BP employees," may or may not play a role in the legal dispute surrounding the Deepwater Horizon blowout and subsequent spill.
BP will conclude that "decision-making responsibility on the Deepwater Horizon rig was varied."
The Journal explains what's at stake:
The report finds BP facing a tricky balancing act. BP risks opening itself up to greater legal liability if it takes a large part of the blame for the disaster, but if it doesn't do this it will likely be accused of evading responsibility. Meanwhile, parceling out blame to other companies involved in the Gulf well risks a blowback from them. BP officials and legal analysts say the company is trying to be careful to avoid letting the investigation's findings devolve into more mud-slinging.
The doomed rig was owned by Transocean LTD, operated by BP, and relied on cementing work by Halliburton.
BP's probe will be the latest on the cause of the environmental disaster that killed 11 workers before spilling millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico.
BP has already acknowledged that it ignored several "warning signs" before the April blast. In a memorandum sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in May, BP said that a "fundamental mistake may have been made despite" indication of a very large abnormality.
In August, the Marine Board, a federal panel investigating the cause of the explosion, heard testimony that Transocean skipped scheduled maintenance on the blowout preventer, a device used to stop underwater wells from spewing oil.
Investigators also learned that before the explosion, BP requested an unusual amount of drilling mud, a man-made fluid used in the drilling process, be removed from the well.
Halliburton's cementing work prompted accusations of blame from Transocean's president in May, when representatives from all three companies testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
President Barack Obama has accused the corporations of collectively "falling over each other to point the finger of blame."
The Department of Justice continues to investigate BP for possible criminal charges. FBI agents were on hand last week when the well's failed blowout preventer was raised from the Gulf.
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