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As the U.S. Commissions panel investigates the Gulf oil spill further, will BP's contractors share the blame? - 


JEREMY HOBSON: Halliburton is defending itself against allegations emerging from a White House panel investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports from London.

STEPHEN BEARD: In a statement Halliburton denies responsibility for the spill. The company was defending itself after evidence emerged concerning the cement it used on the well head. The U.S. panel chief investigator claimed that Halliburton was aware the cement mix was unstable. This could be critical. Nick MacGregor, oil analyst with brokers Redmayne Bentley, says it could lighten BP's burden of responsibility.

NICK MACGREGOR: Well, this is the first independent confirmation we've had of BP's view that some of the contractors involved shared liability for the chain of events that led up to the blow out in the Gulf of Mexico. And financially this may well mean that they are now able to involve those parties in paying the bill for all of this.

But the panel's evidence does not absolve BP. The chief investigator claims the British company was also aware of the instability of the cement mix.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.