[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/14/art.waxmanfile0724.gi.jpg caption="Rep. Henry Waxman warned BP CEO Tony Hayward to be prepared for tough questioning when he testifies before Congress this week."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - BP chief Tony Hayward should be prepared to face tough questioning about the cause of the Gulf oil disaster when he appears before a key House committee this week, according to a letter released Monday by the committee's chairman.
The letter to Hayward from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-California, says a congressional investigation alleges that the besieged oil company took a low-cost, speedy approach to drilling the broken deepwater well responsible for the growing spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Our "investigation is raising serious questions about the decisions made by BP in the days and hours before the explosion" that created the spill, Waxman noted. "On April 15, five days before the explosion, BP's drilling engineer called (the facility in the Gulf) a 'nightmare well.' "
The letter - co-signed by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, D-Michigan - asserts that BP saved $10 million in part by skimping on a process to properly cement the well. It also asserts that BP ignored advice from Halliburton, its cementing subcontractor.