'This Week' Transcript: Powell and Dudley


TAPPER: And joining me this morning from Houston is BP managing director Bob Dudley.

Mr. Dudley, thanks for joining us.

DUDLEY: Good morning, Jake.

TAPPER: So top kill failed. Should the American people prepare themselves for what looks like an uncomfortable fact, that this hole will not be plugged until August at the earliest?

DUDLEY: Well, the relief well at the end of August is certainly the end -- the end point on this game. We failed to wrestle the beast to the ground yesterday. We're going to go in and put a cap on it. We'll be able to produce the fluid. The next step is to make sure that we minimize the oil and pollution going into the gulf.

We'll take a look at it and look at ways to improve it since then. The main thing now is to contain it, and that's -- that's exactly what everyone would expect us to do, is not stop after this setback yesterday.

TAPPER: As you know, there are serious questions about whether or not corners that have been cut, perhaps, for safety -- safety corners -- resulted in this accident. The New York Times is reporting that almost a year ago BP engineers were expressing concern about a metal casing used at the well, one that is, they feared, would buckle under the high pressure of being 5,000 underwater, one that was the riskier option. Why did BP use this riskier option?

DUDLEY: I'm not sure it is a riskier option, Jake. The casing designs that are used in the Gulf of Mexico, we've used those in other places. I think those are statements that an investigation needs to go through and look at. Cutting corners is not the way I describe how we do our business, and the men that work out on those rigs are no more conscious of safety. They have to live out there, and that's what they focus on. So I wouldn't call it cutting corners in any way.

TAPPER: In March, BP told federal regulators that they were struggling with loss of well control. Why were operations not shut down immediately until well control was restored?

DUDLEY: Well, that's -- that is another issue that the -- the investigation is going to look at very, very carefully. There were issues of well control, signs out there, and there are strict procedures that are written -- the rig owners to walk through well control. That's what the investigation will take minute by minute and investigate that.

The failure of the -- the fallback, failure of the blowout preventers is something that's also very, very troubling. It will impact the industry. It is the piece of equipment that is not expected to fail, and that's going to have implications for everyone around the world.

TAPPER: But why didn't you just stop operations? BP knew. BP engineers said they were losing well control. Why didn't you just stop operations then? Why is that not just standard operating procedure?

DUDLEY: It can be standard operating procedure. There's a company that is used there to drill the well. A contractor drills the well, is responsible for some of those items. We're not going to point fingers, and I'm sure there was a lot of discussion around it out there, but that is what the marine board investigation will pull apart step by step.

Certainly, some of the equipment should have worked simply by closing in the well. That did not happen; we need to find out why. And the fact that that equipment failed is why we have an oil spill today.

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