Two Oil Firms Link Rig Blast to 'Plug'

Lloyd Heinze, chairman of the petroleum engineering department at Texas Tech University, agrees that this is an unusual approach. 'Normally, you would not evacuate the riser until you were done with the last plug at the sea floor,' he said in an interview.

Executives from BP PLC, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co. began pointing fingers on Monday over who bears ultimate responsibility for the April 20 oil-rig explosion that took 11 lives and is spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The question will loom large at a Senate hearing Tuesday that will hear from executives of the three companies.

Lloyd Heinze, chairman of the petroleum engineering department at Texas Tech University, agrees that this is an unusual approach. "Normally, you would not evacuate the riser until you were done with the last plug at the sea floor," he said in an interview.

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