NEW ORLEANS -- MMS and the US Coast Guard urge operators and drilling contractors to inspect their drilling equipment and to review their safety procedures.
MMS and USCG have issued the following recommendations:
1. Examine all well control equipment (both surface and subsea) currently being used to ensure that it has been properly maintained and is capable of shutting in the well during emergency operations. Ensure that the ROV hot-stabs are function-tested and are capable of actuating the BOP.
2. Review all rig drilling/casing/completion practices to ensure that well control contingencies are not compromised at any point while the BOP is installed on the wellhead.
3. Review all emergency shutdown and dynamic positioning procedures that interface with emergency well control operations.
4. Inspect lifesaving and firefighting equipment for compliance with federal requirements.
5. Ensure that all crew members are familiar with emergency/firefighting equipment, as well as participate in an abandon ship drill. Operators are reminded that the review of emergency equipment and drills should be conducted after each crew change out.
6. Exercise emergency power equipment to ensure proper operation.
7. Ensure that all personnel involved in well operations are properly trained and capable of performing their tasks under both normal drilling and emergency well control operations.
According to MMS, On April 20 a loss of well control occurred and resulted in an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon. After the rig sank, ROVs confirmed that the riser was bent over and still attached to the BOP and that oil was flowing from leaks in the riser above the BOP. Numerous attempts to actuate the BOP have failed, MMS says. The well is still not secured.
Both MMS and the USCG are conducting a joint investigation of the Deepwater Horizon accident.