Deepwater Horizon: Events chain led to disaster says BP

A sequence of failures resulted in the Macondo well blow-out says a report from BP.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – A sequence of failures resulted in the Macondo well blow-out says a report from BP. The report says “multiple companies and work teams” contributed to the accident which it says arose from “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.”

The report is the result of a four-month-long internal investigation led by specialists inside BP and outside experts. Specifically, the report noted:

• The cement and shoe track barriers failed
• Negative pressure tests were incorrectly accepted by BP and Transocean
• Transocean failed to recognize the inflow for 40 minutes
• The well flow was routed to a mud/gas separator on the rig rather than diverted overboard
• Gas flow into the engine rooms through the ventilation system created a potential for ignition that the rig’s fire and gas systems did not prevent
• After the explosion and fire disabled the crew-operated controls, the BOP should have activated automatically.

Based on its key findings, the investigation team proposed 25 recommendations designed to prevent a recurrence of such an accident. The recommendations are directed at strengthening assurance on blow-out preventers, well control, pressure-testing for well integrity, emergency systems, cement testing, rig audit and verification, and personnel competence.

09/08/2010

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