Expert testifies BP cuts led to Gulf oil disaster
NEW ORLEANS - The first testimony in the civil trial over the Gulf oil spill came from an expert who said he found evidence the company's penchant for cutting costs led to the disaster.
Robert Bea, a University of California Berkeley engineering professor, said BP PLC did not put into place a safety management program on the Deepwater Horizon rig before it exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Bea was called to testify for people and businesses who sued BP, and called the company's lack of a safety program "tragic" and "egregious."
The London-based BP said the safety program was designed to drive a rigorous and systematic approach to safety and risk management.
A former BP consultant, Bea also investigated the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and New Orleans levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
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