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 Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Energy

MARAD Seeks Comments on Proposed Policy for Deepwater Export Applications

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is seeking comments on the agency’s proposed policy to accept, evaluate and process license applications for the construction

Oil Drillers Group to Fight U.S. Export Ban

More than a dozen U.S. oil producers have joined to lobby the federal government to reverse the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude exports, a move that supporters hope

Clean Marine Wins New Contract

Clean Marine has been selected by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea to supply exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) for two new MR tankers. IMO’s convention

News

WFW Advises ING Bank on $340m Loan Facility for Euronav

Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised ING Bank N.V. (ING) as sole bookrunner and facility agent for a syndicate of banks on a $340 million loan facility made available to Euronav NV.

UN Authorizes Ship Inspections Near Somalia For Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

Clean Marine Wins New Contract

Clean Marine has been selected by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea to supply exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) for two new MR tankers. IMO’s convention

Marine Equipment

Kalmar 5th Generation Gloria Reachstackers Enter US

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, is launching its highly acclaimed range of reachstackers, called Gloria into the Americas. The eagerly awaited launch follows the successful

John Deere Expands Tier 3 Engine Line

John Deere Power Systems (JDPS) has introduced new propulsion ratings to its EPAMarine Tier 3 engine offerings. The new PowerTech 4045TFM85 propulsion ratings expand

Caterpillar: Q3 Results Show Improvement

Caterpillar Inc. today announced its third-quarter results, in which it reported profit per share of $1.63 for the third quarter of 2014, an increase from third-quarter 2013 profit per share of $1.

Coast Guard

USCG Monitoring Barge adrift in Beaufort Sea

U.S. Coast Guard personnel and Canadian federal agencies, including the Canadian coast guard, Transport Canada and Environment Canada, are monitoring a 134-foot

EUCAP Nestor Train 30 Somali Coast Guards

On 21 October, the European Union’s Maritime Capacity Building Mission in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Nestor) celebrated the successful completion of a two month Mentoring,

Video: USCG Medevacs Navy Sailor off Virginia

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) medevaced a man Wednesday from a Navy vessel off the Virginia coast after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth

Maritime Safety

UN: Ship Inspections near Somalia for Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

Liebherr to Deliver RTGs to Mayotte and Manila

Liebherr confirms orders for variable speed RTGs and electric RTGs. DPWorld Asian Terminals Inc. has placed an order with Liebherr Container Cranes for a further 5 RTGs at its Manila facility.

U.S. Navy Contracts 12 Rapid Response Skimmers

Kvichak Marine won a US Navy contract for 12 30-ft.Rapid Response Skimmers (RRS) for delivery over the next 18 months, with options for up to 30 additional skimmers to be delivered through 2019.

Offshore Energy

New Oil Field Found in British North Sea

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f

A History of U.S. Oil Export Controls

On Oct. 20, 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia imposed a total embargo on oil shipments to the United States among other countries in response to their support for Israel during the Arab-Israeli war.

Three Dead in Offshore Platform Accident

Three workers were killed and one is still missing after an accident at one of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, Azeri state energy company SOCAR said on Thursday.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1340 sec (7 req/sec)