Report: Faulty Blowout Preventer Contributed to BP Spill

Posted by Eric Haun
Thursday, June 05, 2014

A faulty blowout preventer and weaknesses in how companies analyze potential hazards in offshore oil and gas operations contributed to BP Plc's deadly Gulf of Mexico oil spill more than four years ago, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board said on Thursday.

Despite tougher regulations, a slew of other investigations and an ongoing federal civil trial with potentially billions of dollars at stake, companies may still drill without demonstrating that they have adequate barriers to deadly accidents in place, the agency said.

The CSB, which has no enforcement authority but can recommend safer practices, routinely probes accidents at chemical plants and refineries. The BP investigation was its first involving an offshore accident.

The CSB didn't examine all aspects of the Macondo blowout and explosion that killed 11 men and unleashed more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf.

Rather than re-examine issues already covered by other probes, including those by the U.S. Coast Guard and a commission appointed by President Barack Obama, the CSB studied equipment and hazardous materials operations and safety management.

BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said the core findings were consistent with other probes that said the disaster stemmed from multiple causes involving multiple parties.

The CSB concluded that the blowout preventer (BOP) failed because miswired control systems would have prevented it from sealing the blown-out well.

A blowout preventer is a multi-ton stack of valves and pipes that sits atop deepwater wells to stop oil and gas from gushing upward in an accident.

Also, the board said different pressures inside the drillpipe and the area between the pipe and the well moved it off center, so a key piece of equipment in the blowout preventer called the shear ram couldn't slice through the pipe to seal the well.

Other probes had found that explosions aboard Transocean's Deepwater Horizon rig moved the pipe.

The issues underscore existing and undetected BOP design limits, the CSB said.

In addition, the board said that while regulators began requiring operators to do hazard analyses for all offshore structures post-Macondo, the rule doesn't require a risk reduction target or documented rationale of hazard control.

That means companies can do a weak analysis that doesn't identify the operating condition of critical safety equipment - like a BOP - and still comply with the rule, the board said.

In 2011, the maker of the BOP, Cameron International Corp , agreed to a $250 million settlement with BP to help pay for costs associated with the spill.

(Reporting By Kristen Hays; Editing by Terry Wade and Cynthia Osterman)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Energy

Russia Diesel Exports from Primorsk to Rise in May

Russia is set to export 1.256 million tonnes of ultra-low sulphur diesel from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk in May, slightly up from 1.209 million tonnes in April, trading sources said on Friday.

Oil Rally is Not Just About Hedge Funds: Kemp

Oil prices are becoming dangerously overheated as speculators anticipate a rebalancing of supply and demand that has barely started, according to many oil analysts.

Pressure Steady on LNG Shipping Rates -Drewry

LNG shipowners will have to wait until 2018 for earnings to improve, when the majority of new US plants are expected to come online, according to the latest edition

News

Mercury Marine Expands Manufacturing Capacity

Mercury Marine is adding a 53,000 square foot manufacturing capacity expansion to its global headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisc. The expansion will consist of 45,

Conquest Installs 850t Crane on Allseas Solitaire

Conquest Offshore was contracted by Allseas to remove a 300-ton crane and transport and install a 850-ton Huisman crane on board of one of the largest pipe-lay vessels in the world, Allseas Solitaire.

MARAD: $5 Mln Available for Marine Highway Projects

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced the availability of $5 million in Federal funding to expand marine highway service by creating new or expanding

Marine Equipment

Mercury Marine Expands Manufacturing Capacity

Mercury Marine is adding a 53,000 square foot manufacturing capacity expansion to its global headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisc. The expansion will consist of 45,

Conquest Installs 850t Crane on Allseas Solitaire

Conquest Offshore was contracted by Allseas to remove a 300-ton crane and transport and install a 850-ton Huisman crane on board of one of the largest pipe-lay vessels in the world, Allseas Solitaire.

Sellick Equipment to Open New Facility

On April, 20, 2016, at the young age of 97 years, Walter Sellick along with sons Howard Sellick - President, David Sellick - Vice President and grandson Colin Sellick - Systems Manager,

Coast Guard

Disabled Fishing Vessel Towed to Maine

The 60-foot fishing boat Paulo Marc was towed by the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Moray after the fishing vessel became disabled Wednesday about 90 miles east of Portland, Maine.

Fishing Crew Missing off Wales

The U.K. Coastguard is searching for the crew of a sunken fishing vessel near St David’s Head, Pembrokeshire.   The Coastguard said it received a 999 call from

USCG Uses Skiff Ice Boat to Rescue Injured Man

The U.S. Coast Guard medically evacuated a man off of a dredging barge in Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio, Wednesday evening. At approximately 5:45 p.m., a good

Maritime Safety

Norovirus Outbreak on Fred. Olsen Cruise Ship

An outbreak of the norovirus stomach bug has sickened 160 people aboard a Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship docked at Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. health officials and the company said on Friday.

ICS Criticises 'Prestige’ Judgement by Spanish Court

At a meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has strongly criticised the judgement

WILCO Logistics Bags Townsville Port Safety Works

WILCO Logistics Pty Ltd has been announced as the successful bid contractor on Breakwater safety works at the Port of Townsville.   Minister for Ports Mark Bailey said the overall $1.

Offshore Energy

Subsea 7 Profits Dip in Q1

Subsea 7 S.A. announced its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2016, reporting revenues of $746 million, down 37 percent from the prior year period.

Ulstein Verft's First Wind Service Vessel Launched

Shipbuilder Ulstein Verft has launched its first vessel within the renewable energy segment, and also the first with the newly-developed X-STERN hull line design.

Incat Crowther Supplies Crewboat Design, Build Kits

Incat Crowther has been awarded a contract with shipbuilder Astinave EP of Guayaquil, Ecuador for the supply of vessel design services and aluminum component kits for a pair of 22.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1162 sec (9 req/sec)