Blowout preventer overhaul way off

The blowout preventer that failed on a BP well last year was four years overdue for maintenance under driller Transocean Ltd.’s internal guidelines, a U.S. regulator said.

04/26/2011


The blowout preventer that failed on a BP well last year was four years overdue for maintenance under driller Transocean Ltd.’s internal guidelines, a U.S. regulator said.

The Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer had not been disassembled and refurbished since the rig was commissioned in 2001, said Jason Mathews of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement during an investigative hearing in Metairie, La.

Under Transocean’s own rules, there should have been an overhaul of the blowout preventer no later than the summer of 2006, Mathews said.

The preventer is a 300-ton stack of valves and pipes designed to stop an oil well from surging out of control.

In the Deepwater Horizon incident, the blowout preventer’s blades failed to sever and seal the pipe from BP’s Macondo well during the April 2010 disaster that killed 11 rig workers, sank the vessel, and spewed enough crude into the sea to fill two supertankers, according to a study commissioned by a joint US Coast Guard-Interior Department panel. Mathews is one of eight members of the panel.

The blowout preventer wasn’t in need of an overhaul, Michael Fry, a Transocean manager who oversees subsea equipment used on all of the company’s Gulf of Mexico rigs, told the panel.

“If it’s not found to be outside its operating tolerances, that piece of equipment stays in service,’’ Fry said.

A study of the blowout preventer, carried out by Det Norske Veritas, concluded a lack of maintenance work was not a factor in the failure of the blades to crimp the pipe. Cameron International Corp., based in Houston, made the blowout preventer used by the Deepwater Horizon.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me