Winter told reporters in a conference call, “Once they made the decision to basically disregard the results of the tests conducted … and to proceed to the temporary abandonment, they set the course of subsequent events.”

Winter said that regulatory agencies and industry have taken steps to make improvements in safety processes, and those are a “good first step.”

However, Winter added, “The question for the committee remains whether these efforts are a start toward recognition, acceptance and action against the risks inherent in offshore development, or whether they represent a transitory response.”

BP, which held the lease to the Macondo well, said in a statement that the report's conclusions “are consistent with the consensus which has emerged from every official investigation: that the Deepwater Horizon accident was complex and was the result of multiple causes, involving multiple parties.”