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Technician challenges BP's claim on key devices

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - A technician is challenging BP's claim about how long it would have taken to install a key device. The oil giant had been warned the device was essential to prevent a significant gas flow problem in the Gulf of Mexico oil well that later blew out.

Centralizers make sure the casing is running down the center of the well bore. If the casing is cemented off-center, there is a risk of an imperfect seal that could allow oil and gas to escape.

BP installed only six, against a Halliburton recommendation to install 21.

A BP well team leader asserted it would take 10 hours to install the additional 15. But technician Daniel Oldfather told a federal investigative panel Thursday it would have taken him only four to eight hours to do the job.


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