Interior Department Issues a Report on Failure of Blowout Preventer

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Det Norske Veritas

A report was released by the Interior Department on Wednesday which stated that a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico blew out last April causing the death of 11 workers and it also spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

A Norwegian company was hired as a part of the federal investigation into the matter and the report issued by it could lead to design changes in blowout preventers, devices that are the last line of protection to prevent drilling disasters.

The findings of this investigation was compiled in this report and it suggested that the blowout preventer was in proper working condition and was consistent with tests conducted on the equipment in the days before the blowout.

Clarifying the reasons behind this incident, the company said that high-pressure flow from the well created conditions that exceeded the scope.

Det Norske Veritas, the Norwegian company, said, “The sudden rush of gas and oil forced the pipe upward so that a thick connecting portion became stuck near the top of the blowout preventer. With the pipe stuck in a large rubber ring called an annular, additional force from the blowout caused the pipe to buckle below it”.

The report has made some recommendations to take a closer look into the design of shear rams to ensure that they can cut the drill pipe.


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