Report Warns Deepwater Horizon Could Happen Again

Report Warns Deepwater Horizon Could Happen Again

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HOUSTON, Texas - Terrifying images from four years ago lead to a scary conclusion--this can happen again.

"Because the same conditions of differential pressure could occur at other rigs even a crew successfully shuts in a well," says a narrator summarizing the Chemical Safety Board’s report.  This video from the CSB summarizes their exhaustive 100 page report.  Investigators say they learned something called effective compression slightly bent the drill pipe.

“This large difference in pressure likely caused the drill pipe to buckle essentially bending the pipe off center in the blowout preventer,” says the video.  The misalignments lead to fail-safes failing.  They also discovered two solenoids that were supposed to fire in the event the BOP lost contact with the rig weren't wired properly.  Those solenoids only engaged by accident.

“Because the drill pipe was cut and off center and only partially cut with the failure of this there was nothing to stop the destruction of the rig,” says the video.  Investigators say blowout preventers are inspected all the time but their latent safety features are often ignored.

“This results in potential safety gaps in us offshore operations and leaves open the possibility of another catastrophic accident,” says CSB Team Lead Cheryl MacKenzie.  Investigators say more oversight is needed to ensure oil companies always plan for the worst case scenario.

“So it's not a change that can happen overnight, some of the changes crews can do to prevent effective compression can start tomorrow, says CSB Investigator Mary Beth Mulcahey.  You can check out the CSB’s full reports here.  They are not light reading.  You can check out their extremely well produced video summary here. 

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