BP shortcuts led to Gulf oil spill, explosion, fire

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

BP, running weeks behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget trying to complete its troubled Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, took numerous shortcuts that contributed to the disastrous blowout and oil spill last year, federal investigators concluded in a report released Wednesday.

The central cause of the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was a failure of the cement at the base of the 18,000-foot-deep well that was supposed to contain oil and gas within the well bore. That failure led to a cascade of human and mechanical errors that allowed natural gas under tremendous pressure to shoot onto the drilling platform, causing an explosion and fire that killed 11 of the 115 crew members and caused an oil spill that took 87 days to get under control.

The two-part report, compiled by a joint task force of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and the United States Coast Guard and covering more than 500 pages, is the most comprehensive to date on the April 2010 disaster. Its findings largely mirror those of other investigations, including the inquiry by the commission named by President Obama to determine the causes of the calamity. That panel issued its findings in January.

“The loss of life at the Macondo site on April 20, 2010, and the subsequent pollution of the Gulf of Mexico through the summer of 2010 were the result of poor risk management, last-minute changes to plans, failure to observe and respond to critical indicators, inadequate well control response and insufficient emergency bridge response training by companies and individuals responsible for drilling at the Macondo well and for the operation of the Deepwater Horizon,” the latest report said.

It concluded that BP, as the well’s owner, was ultimately responsible for the accident. But it also said that BP’s chief contractors, Transocean, which owned the mobile drilling rig, and Halliburton, which was responsible for the cementing operations, shared blame for many of the fatal mistakes.

RTFA. It’s about what I expected.

It’s been decades since I worked in the offshore drilling trade; but, I doubt attitudes and character have changed especially inside Big Oil. “Imperious” is the first word that comes to mind. These clowns really think the world owes them an emperor’s living. Cost of doing business is important only insofar as it affects profits. Safety, human priorities, are evaluated as a small part of cost/risk analysis.

So it was. So it is.

One thought on “BP shortcuts led to Gulf oil spill, explosion, fire

  1. Update says:

    President Trump has opted to roll back several offshore drilling rules imposed following BP’s disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 that killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico. In April, Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review some of the Obama-era safety rules that were intended to curb such accidents, and on Thursday the agency issued several proposed changes to regulations. The proposal would, for example, scrap the requirement that mandates operators certify—through a third party—that their safety devices are properly functioning. The changes are expected to save oil-industry companies more than $288 million over 10 years. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-28/trump-rolls-back-offshore-safety-rules-born-from-bp-oil-spill

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