AP: Experts fear another oil disaster
NEW ORLEANS - With everything Big Oil and the government have learned in the year since the Gulf of Mexico disaster, could it happen again?
An Associated Press examination of the industry and interviews with experts on the perils of deep-sea drilling show there are still serious questions in some quarters about whether the lessons of the BP oil spill have been applied.
The government has given the OK for oil exploration in treacherously deep waters to resume, saying it is confident such drilling can be done safely. The industry has given similar assurances.
But the effectiveness of a much-touted containment system is being questioned because it hasn't been tested on the sea floor. A design flaw in the blowout preventers widely used across the industry has been identified but not corrected. And regulators are allowing companies to obtain drilling permits before approving their updated oil-spill response plans.