The New York Times today has a long, detailed investigation into the concrete causes of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It describes how the well was equipped with only one blind shear ram, not a prudent two, and how the shear ram’s hydraulic system failed, preventing it from shutting off the flow.

Specialized gamma-ray imaging determined, weeks later, that all efforts to fix the ram had been in vain. “The last line of defense was a useless carcass of steel.”

The article also details that the Macondo well was known to be a “nightmare well” long before the blowout, and that BP cut financial corners again and again in its construction.

Read the whole story here.