Transocean's Deepwater Horizon, drilling BP's Macando prospect, exploded in flames and eleven people were killed. The origins of the incident were both deliberately and incidentally obscured by the companies involved, by the government, by the "news" reporting and by individual, personal accounts. There was no single cause but a multiplicity of failures of both people and equipment even though, as operator, BP must carry the largest load of guilt simply by being the well owner/operator.

Like many other stories, similar to catching that big fish, all of the details grow with every retelling. The volume of flow at the first report by BP was far below reality but the other sides number at any given time as well as the total oil and gas released was too large by a factor of two or more on the first statement. (1)

The rig owned the BOP but it was maintained by the original builder. It failed, twice.

Transoceanic certified certain safety capabilities under the contract to drill. As a result of the explosion, several of these proved to be false.

BP was faulted for failing to make use of services offered from world class companies equipped with the technology and experience required. Why? US laws forbade such aid.

BP did not spread a dispersant on the spill for quite some time but was forced to by the Ocean Administration. Why refuse? Because they knew it would most likely cause more harm than good. It did.

(1) No well ever in the GoM flowed near the initial rate stated by the investigators or their consults even from boreholes twice the size. And Macando's flow was going through a collapsed riser twisted to slow and prevent max flow.