60 Minutes: Mike Williams on BP Oil Spill

May 18, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

BP Oil Spill: Greenpeace marine biologist Paul Horsman shows oil collected from a jetti at the mouth of the Mississippi River on May 17 in near Venice, Louisiana. (John Moore/Getty Images)
BP Oil Spill: Greenpeace marine biologist Paul Horsman shows oil collected from a jetti at the mouth of the Mississippi River on May 17 in near Venice, Louisiana. (John Moore/Getty Images)
CBS on Sunday night aired a 60 Minutes episode that took a deeper look into the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Scott Pelley, 60 Minutes’ host, interviewed one of the last crew members to escape from the incident, Mike Williams.

According to Williams, the oil rig’s explosion was the result of weeks of mishaps, which had gone ignored. His account suggests that the BP oil spill may have been caused by the British company's desire to speed up the drilling process in order to save money.

According to Williams, just weeks prior to the explosion, BP managers had urged workers to “bump up” the speed of the drilling.

“Time is money. And this job was costing BP a million dollars a day," he said. But Williams says there was trouble from the start. Getting oil from the well was taking too long. With the schedule slipping, Williams says, the BP manager ordered a faster pace. Williams says going faster caused the bottom of the well to split open, swallowing tools and the drilling fluid called mud.

Four weeks prior to the explosion of the well, “the well’s most vital piece of safety equipment was damaged,” according to Williams, when a worker accidently bumped into a joystick which applied hundreds of thousands of pounds of force onto a closed blow out preventer which was closed by a rubber gasket called an annular.

Later on, Williams said that workers found pieces of rubber in the fluid that was brought to the surface.

Congress is currently working on performing an investigation on the conditions and reasons which led to the BP oil spill, now widely becoming known as the worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States. Congress has not spoken to Mike Williams as of Monday.