Defective Drilling Equipment Still Being Used After BP Oil Spill

We now know what is partially responsible for the BP oil spill of 2010. According to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, there is a flaw in the blowout prevention system that was meant to impede disasters such as the one that occurred four years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. The tragedy is that this faulty equipment is still in use today on oil rigs. The blowout preventer is a five-story apparatus that contains several valves and seals that are intended to cut the drill pipe at the right moment in order to prevent an explosion. Because this device is faulty, it did not do its job in 2010, and the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is concerned because the design flaw has not been rectified. Although there is a difference of opinion, offshore drilling is a dangerous profession to enter, and other catastrophic events like a petrochemical plant accident remain a strong possibility. If you are hurt in an industrial accident, you will need a Houston industrial accident attorney to make sure that your rights are fully protected. Similarly, you may lose a loved one in these types of incidents, and you will be within your rights to sue your loved one’s employers for wrongful death in industrial accident if this occurs. More Bad News than Good The BP oil spill has had positive results. For example, after the spill, deep-water drilling companies have even more safety regulations to follow. However, the board stated that this industry’s offshore safety systems are still replete with problems. The board’s lead investigator Cheryl MacKenzie gave an interview recently concerning this issue. She stated that the reality described above causes safety gaps within offshore drilling operations, and this means that another disaster like the BP oil spill could happen in the future. The Worst Accident of Its Kind The explosion and subsequent spill caused serious consequences for the people involved and the environment. A total of 11 employees were killed while working on the Deepwater Horizon, and 5 million barrels of oil flowed into the gulf. This makes the BP oil spill the worst accident of its kind that the United States has ever suffered. After several investigations by many different agencies, investigators have come to two conclusions. First, there was corporate mismanagement. Second, there was inadequate government regulation of this industry. The Results of the Investigation Investigators with the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board detailed their findings in a report. The blowout preventer is a device that rests on the ocean’s floor underneath a drilling rig. A drilling pipe travels from the rig’s platform through the blowout preventer and down to gas and oil deposits within the earth. Oil and gas that is located underneath the ocean floor is under a great deal of pressure, and sometimes, this oil or gas can travel up the well’s bore and pipe by accident. If this occurs, the job of the blowout preventer is to stop the flow of oil or gas before it can reach the platform. Investigators discovered that the lower valves of the blowout preventer closed, and this allowed pressure to accumulate. The result was a bent drill pipe. Because the drill pipe was bent, the blowout preventer’s “blind shear ram” was unable to cut the pipe in the most effective manner. Instead, it perforated the pipe, and this caused a large amount of oil and gas to rush toward the surface. Differences of Opinion Jackie Savitz of the environmental group Oceana agreed with the board’s conclusions, but there is one dissenting voice. Spokesman Brian Straessle for the American Petroleum Industry stated that the report failed to address the fact that regulators have made significant advances in increasing the safety of offshore drilling.