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BP oil spill: failed safety device on Deepwater Horizon rig was modified in China
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/18/deepwater-horizon-blow-out-preventer-china?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter ^

Posted on 07/17/2010 10:12:09 PM PDT by Orange1998

BP ordered the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, whose explosion led to the worst environmental disaster in US history, to overhaul a crucial piece of the rig's safety equipment in China, the Observer has learnt. The blow-out preventer – the last line of defence against an out-of-control well – subsequently failed to activate and is at the centre of investigations into what caused the disaster.

Experts say that the practice of having such engineering work carried out in China, rather than the US, saves money and is common in the industry.

This weekend BP remained cautiously optimistic that the cap placed on top of the Gulf of Mexico well on Thursday night would continue to hold back the torrent of oil. It is the first time the flow has been stopped since the accident happened almost three months ago. But BP said that the pressure readings from the Macondo well were not as high as it had hoped, which could indicate that it has ruptured and that oil could be leaking out somewhere else.

There is no evidence that the significant modifications to the blowout preventer (BOP), which were carried out in China in 2005, caused the equipment to fail. But industry lawyers said BP could be made liable for any mistakes that a Chinese subcontractor made carrying out the work. It would be almost impossible to secure damages in China, where international law is barely recognised.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bp
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Cutting corners and saving a buck or two. Geez.

(Blow-out preventer was sent to Far East at BP's request rather than overhauled in US)

1 posted on 07/17/2010 10:12:14 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: Orange1998
Experts say that the practice of having such engineering work carried out in China, rather than the US, saves money and is common in the industry.

When Clinton and, to a lesser extent, Bush were aiding and abetting the transfer of significant pieces of our manufacturing base to China, many said that there was no need to worry, it was only cheap electronics and plastic toys, and that China will never be able to capture higher end manufacturing or engineering work.

2 posted on 07/17/2010 10:17:49 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: Orange1998

Expect more of this as the outsourcing chickens come home to roost in the worst possible way. We haven’t yet seen the downside of trusting lives to poor Chinese quality but we will in cars, planes, and other things where a back to the drawing board approach just doesn’t cut it.


3 posted on 07/17/2010 10:19:16 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

I was wondering early on if there was A China connection. I was thinking along the lines of maybe some defective cement. Nothing much good comes out of China.


4 posted on 07/17/2010 10:19:51 PM PDT by Enterprise (As a disaster unfolds, a putz putts.)
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To: Orange1998

How about an executive order from the boy king forbidding all further purchases of safety related products from China. Obama had no qualms about shutting down drilling. How about shutting down China trade?


5 posted on 07/17/2010 10:21:33 PM PDT by Enterprise (As a disaster unfolds, a putz putts.)
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To: Orange1998

Over Hill
Over Dale
Chinese BOP
Will Ever Fail ...


6 posted on 07/17/2010 10:22:49 PM PDT by Lmo56
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To: Orange1998

unbelieveable ...


7 posted on 07/17/2010 10:23:59 PM PDT by Patton@Bastogne
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

“When Clinton and, to a lesser extent, Bush were aiding and abetting the transfer of significant pieces of our manufacturing base to China, ...... “


Was that when Clinton was telling us that we were a tech society and that we were going to train the 60 year old textile worker how to use computers. These tech jobs are much better paying jobs ... yada .... yada .... this was soon before the tech stocks’ bubble burst.

This is just another example of them selling this nation down the river.


8 posted on 07/17/2010 10:29:13 PM PDT by boycott (CAL)
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To: Orange1998
Aren't the Chinese buying the rights to produce oil off of Cuba?

Things that make you go hmmmm...

9 posted on 07/17/2010 10:30:16 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass (I'd rather take my chances with someone misusing freedom than someone misusing power.)
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To: Orange1998
President Obama said that it was too early to say if the well had been permanently fixed.

This *infuriates* me. How the heck would he know? It's not like he said "Well my advisors on this issue say..." No, he acts like *he* knows. I know he has to project a certain image, but my problem is that I think the guy is a dope (yes I really wrote that) so every time he spews on a complicated, technical issue it drives me nuts.

Geez

Sorry for the rant.

10 posted on 07/17/2010 10:34:34 PM PDT by Felis_irritable
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To: Orange1998

Not the fault of the BOP but rather the fault of the BP people who pulled the mud out of the hole.


11 posted on 07/17/2010 10:34:57 PM PDT by trumandogz
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To: Orange1998

Waiting for the libertarians to chime in and say how great it was that BP could outsource their repairs and upgrades to China. Free trade you know.

Of course, no doubt some will also say it was a travesty that BP was forced by unreasonable government regulations to install such a device in the first place.


12 posted on 07/17/2010 10:38:43 PM PDT by InABunkerUnderSF (Anyone who has read Roman history knows a barbarian invasion when they see one.)
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To: Orange1998

The toys we buy for our children, the planes we fly in, the brakes in our cars and the heart valves that keep us alive. All compromised for a few dollars. I shake my head in disgust.


13 posted on 07/17/2010 10:39:07 PM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: Orange1998
But industry lawyers said BP could be made liable for any mistakes that a Chinese subcontractor made carrying out the work. It would be almost impossible to secure damages in China, where international law is barely recognised.

Between suing home based business for Chinese Failure and regulating home business to flee to China, we create an environmental outcome the greenies promised to prevent. Yet the greenies will not step up and take responsibility. The dopes we call our friends are blind to this political state.

14 posted on 07/17/2010 10:41:02 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: Orange1998
But industry lawyers said BP could be made liable for any mistakes that a Chinese subcontractor made carrying out the work. It would be almost impossible to secure damages in China, where international law is barely recognised.

Between suing home based business for Chinese Failure and regulating home business to flee to China, we create an environmental outcome the greenies promised to prevent. Yet the greenies will not step up and take responsibility. The dopes we call our friends are blind to this political state.

15 posted on 07/17/2010 10:41:05 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: Orange1998

BP should sue China for the total dollar amount for all damages caused to the Gulf region. “F” China... They got this BOP for maintenance and thought it was going on sale at Wal-Mart.


16 posted on 07/17/2010 10:50:02 PM PDT by historyrepeatz
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To: Orange1998
Don't believe a word of this stuff.

The BOP was not designed to go that deep. That comes from the person who designed the thing. BP is the sole entity responsible for this mess and DO NOT buy into any BS they will float in the media.
17 posted on 07/17/2010 10:50:43 PM PDT by grapeape (Don't rally around BP. They are endagering the rest of the oil industry.)
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To: Orange1998

When I was Chief Mechanical Officer for a shortline railroad, our steam locomotive was out-of-service for a routine reflue/retube. I demanded that cheap junk Chinese tubes not be used for the work... I left the company before the tubes were purchased, and seriously doubt my stance on the matter was considered. I hope that Chinese chicken doesn’t come home to roost. I’d be able to hear the boiler explosion from where I live.


18 posted on 07/17/2010 10:54:39 PM PDT by Rodamala
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To: Orange1998
Experts say that the practice of having such engineering work carried out in China, rather than the US, saves money and is common in the industry.

Chyea. Nothing like having regulated and taxed industry out of business in the good-ole-US, is there?

19 posted on 07/17/2010 10:55:47 PM PDT by Sarajevo (You're jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
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To: trumandogz
Not the fault of the BOP but rather the fault of the BP people who pulled the mud out of the hole.

I think it's like we used to say: multifactorial causation. Several factors at play.

20 posted on 07/17/2010 11:17:39 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Last Dakotan

“All compromised for a few dollars. I shake my head in disgust.”

Actually, I wonder if the promise of business over here isn’t what was made in exchange for buying our debt.


21 posted on 07/17/2010 11:18:15 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: Orange1998

Holy Cow !


22 posted on 07/17/2010 11:19:16 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: InABunkerUnderSF

Libertarians mean well, but they lack wisdom.


23 posted on 07/17/2010 11:20:31 PM PDT by Fee (Peace, prosperity, jobs and common sense)
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To: Orange1998

Wonder how many other BOP units have been modified and upgraded in China ?


24 posted on 07/17/2010 11:28:27 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Orange1998
This article is so lacking in specifics that it is useless. We don't know what was modified, if that modification is sanctioned by the manufacturer or if the modification changed anything related to the current situation.

All of the reporting has referred to the BOP stack (the combination of all of the blowout preventers) as "the blowout preventer." This is incorrect and misleading. Since the stack is made up of several blowout preventers as well as other equipment a "modification" could be as simple as disconnecting and rearranging components. The arrangement of components in a stack is more or less left up to the contractor and the company who owns the well.

The BOP stack is designed by the rig owner and the well owner in cooperation with the equipment manufacturers and assembly often takes place is some area where labor costs are low. This assembly is supervised by all of the companies involved in designing the stack and manufacturing the components.

25 posted on 07/17/2010 11:58:17 PM PDT by FreePaul
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To: Orange1998
Back in the eighties when screws, bolts, and various fasteners were quietly replaced by cheap chinese look-alikes instead of high quality heat treated ASTM rated US steel on the shelves of Ace Hardware and elsewhere, some of us predicted the day when it would all find itself holding together America's infrastructure. And here we are.
26 posted on 07/18/2010 12:17:38 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar
Back in the eighties when screws, bolts, and various fasteners were quietly replaced by cheap chinese look-alikes instead of high quality heat treated ASTM rated US steel.........

Have seen this a lot on some supposedly grade 8 bolts. They will snap at 50 to 70% of their torque value.

27 posted on 07/18/2010 12:27:29 AM PDT by The Cajun (Mind numbed robot , ditto-head, Hannitized, Levinite)
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To: SpaceBar
These cheap look-alikes aren't just in hardware stores. They do show up in areas where specifications require otherwise. There are dishonest suppliers who will give fraudulent certifications and sell cheaper.

If a company doesn't have in house testing to uncover these frauds there can be serious consequences. Sometimes these defective bolts get by in spite of efforts to weed them out. Best remedy is to know your supplier and make sure that he takes all of the necessary precautions. Sort of like "trust and verify."

28 posted on 07/18/2010 12:27:29 AM PDT by FreePaul
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To: Orange1998

>Experts say that the practice of having such engineering
>work carried out in China, rather than the US, saves money
>and is common in the industry.

Right up to the point that it doesn’t. One of the few flaws that the conservative movement has had over the past two decades is this need to coddle those who would destroy America by supporting China.


29 posted on 07/18/2010 12:37:16 AM PDT by Yet_Again
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To: Orange1998
Wonder if it was this Chinese Company ?

Shandong Shengdong Petroleum Machinery Co., Ltd

Been doing this for 30 years. Probably have a lot of International customers.

30 posted on 07/18/2010 12:38:34 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

I remember that. It was Newt’s Republican controlled Congress that twisted arms the hardest for MFN status for China.


31 posted on 07/18/2010 1:56:16 AM PDT by TigersEye (Intellectuals only exist if you think they do.)
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To: grapeape
When the riser was cut off, it appeared there were two sections of drill pipe in there.

No BOP has been designed for drilling purposes to close over two drill strings, no pipe rams are designed to work with two joints of pipe in the way, and no shear rams are designed to cut double.

In short, it appears something got dropped in the hole when the blowout occurred, and that kept the BOP from functioning.

32 posted on 07/18/2010 2:42:33 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: grapeape
Discovery of second pipe in Deepwater Horizon riser stirs debate among experts
33 posted on 07/18/2010 2:49:30 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

More evidence of BP’s “go cheap at any cost” approach.


34 posted on 07/18/2010 4:51:38 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: InABunkerUnderSF
Waiting for the libertarians to chime in and say how great it was that BP could outsource their repairs and upgrades to China. Free trade you know.

If you have to wait for an economic libertarian to tell you that we don't have free trade with China, you are in sorry shape indeed.

35 posted on 07/18/2010 5:39:00 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: trumandogz
Not the fault of the BOP but rather the fault of the BP EPA people who told the BP people to replace the drilling mud with seawater of the hole.

There, fixed it.

36 posted on 07/18/2010 6:26:19 AM PDT by Don W (I keep some folks' numbers in my 'phone just so I know NOT to answer when they call...)
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To: Don W

.....EPA people who told the BP people to replace the drilling mud with seawater ......

I had heard that the replacement of the drilling mud with seawater occurred but not that the EPA ordered the action. Where did you learn that?

I thought a BP engineer ordered the action over the objections of the drilling or perhaps Haleburton engineers


37 posted on 07/18/2010 6:35:20 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... The winds of war are freshening)
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To: historyrepeatz

Let’s think bigger my friend. The United States needs to sue China for a Trillion dollars. Then, tell the Chinese to turn over all their bonds to us, and the debt will be settled. And of course, they can start buying new bonds all over to finance U.S. debt.


38 posted on 07/18/2010 6:51:17 AM PDT by Enterprise (As a disaster unfolds, a putz putts.)
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To: bert
You are correct bert.

It was Schlumberger personnel who objected. They were there for logs and knew that the integrity of the shoe was faulty.

They pleaded with BP to stop all plans of displacing the well with Sea Water, pointing out the impending disaster. They also demanded that the well should be immediately shut in and killed while there was still time to stop it.

The BP consultant in charge refused to listen to them and ordered them to carry out their logs as required by the contract. He even went so far as to deny them a flight off the platform and told them they could not leave.

Schlumberger immediately sent out one of their own helo’s to evacuate their personnel. The well lost control 8 hours later.

Ironically, I happen to have met the BP Consultant who caused this disaster and who is mostly to blame for it. He used to be a Drilling Engineer for BP on the North Slope of Alaska in the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk fields. I also met him on occasion at Endicott Island. Needless to say he is an incredible jerk and always has been.

39 posted on 07/18/2010 7:14:03 AM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP ( Give me Liberty, or give me an M-24A2!)
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To: Orange1998

I wonder why it was a BPV destined for use in the relatively few deep wells in US waters that failed, rather than one headed for the 98% of deepwater wells that are not in US waters.

....Just wondering...


40 posted on 07/18/2010 7:31:35 AM PDT by cookcounty ("Today's White House reporters seem one ball short of a ping pong scrimmage.")
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To: SpaceBar

I remember it, They even had TV ads selling plastic box sets of bolts and nuts. They were cheap and poor quality but you would have every nut and bolt size handy.


41 posted on 07/18/2010 7:36:16 AM PDT by Orange1998
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP; Don W

When we get to the bottom of it all, I have only one degree of separation from the horses mouth, the BP engineer who made the fateful wrong decision. :)

(This is also now true for all who read this thread who can truthfully say “My FRiend knew and worked with the BP guy who made the decision and was not complimentary of him at all”)


42 posted on 07/18/2010 8:04:06 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... The winds of war are freshening)
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To: trumandogz

A whole bag of BP’s actions lead to this mess, but the BOP did not do what it supposed to do when it was the last defence against a blowout. Whether it was dead actuator batteries, lack of BOP maintenance or low quality chink work, the BOP did not work.

BP needs to either change their general “cut the corner” attitiude or get the hell out of the oil business. But don’t look for much to really happen to BP other than nobama and BP Exes handing out Sharehold’s money.


43 posted on 07/18/2010 9:00:48 AM PDT by dusttoyou (Remember come November)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Funny thing about that. If the industry isn't cost-concious, people howl about the price of oil and all the goodies that come out of it, from fuel to pharma.

But really, I think the question of madifications to the BOP is moot, if you look at the post just before yours.

It wouldn't have mattered if it had been rebuilt by Cameron with the direct nit-picking supervision of the Board of Directors, it wasn't designed to operate with two strings in the hole.

It appears the following contributed to the disaster:

Failure to assess the negative pressure test results on the plug as showing a leak.

Displacing the riser without remediating that leak.

Failure to act upon increased returns (volume) while displacing.

Failure to act on the well continuing to flow while the pumps were shut down.

Continuing to displace the riser despite indicators of a kick in progress.

(PLEASE NOTE: I am not pointing any fingers at anyone in particular. It has not been ascertained who did or did not notice or act or attempt to act (or even order otherwise should that have happened) in the instance of the apparent indicators above, that will (possibly) be revealed by inquiry later, and I am not pointing any fingers at anyone on the crew or in management without the facts, be they living or dead. That will get its day in court, and I await those findings.)

Possibly, at the time of the explosion or thereabouts, it appears a length of drill pipe was knocked/dropped in the hole, next to the string in the riser. It appears that pipe wedged in the riser at or near the base, having at least partially entered the BOP stack.

When it rains, it pours, but no pipe rams will seal over two strings, the annular can't wrap around that either and seal, and blind rams only close over open hole. The shear rams were likely not rated to cut two sections of drill pipe simultaneously.

At that point, it really does not matter where the BOP was serviced.

You don't blame the A&P because your Spad won't do Mach 2, either.

44 posted on 07/18/2010 11:26:08 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: bert

I read about the EPA “suggestion” in a link from a thread about 2 weeks ago. I looked for the thread, but could not find it. I’ll look for a while longer, but I make no promises.


45 posted on 07/18/2010 11:56:43 AM PDT by Don W (I keep some folks' numbers in my 'phone just so I know NOT to answer when they call...)
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To: grapeape
The BOP was not designed to go that deep.

and you know this how?

46 posted on 07/18/2010 12:00:24 PM PDT by HoustonCurmudgeon ("I'll try to be NICER, if you will try to be SMARTER!" ~ MNJohnnie, FReeper)
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To: Last Dakotan
The toys we buy for our children, the planes we fly in, the brakes in our cars and the heart valves that keep us alive. All compromised for a few dollars. I shake my head in disgust.

I completely agree. Sometimes it's very important to pay extra for quality. The old saying goes, "you get what you pay for."

I wonder if these "titans of industry" would get a vasectomy from the cheapest guy in town?

47 posted on 07/18/2010 1:09:00 PM PDT by IDontLikeToPayTaxes
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To: Don W; bert

“Not the fault of the BOP but rather the fault of the BP EPA people who told the BP people to replace the drilling mud with seawater of the hole.”

Don W,

Wow, you seem very knowledgeable about the little BP incident on the Deepwater Horizon Platform on 4/20/10. However, for some reason, not sure what it could be, you lack any specifics on your claim that the EPA ordered BP to replace that drilling mud with seawater.

Could you please cite documentation that would show that the EPA was making command decisions on that platform?

More specifically, could you please cite the actual order from the EPA to BP to pull the mud out of the hole, pump that mud onto a service boat and to be delivered to another platform and replace that mud with seawater?

Would you also be able to explain why the Schlumberger crew on the Deepwater Horizon objected to the actions taken by BP, I mean the EPA and ordered a helicopter to “rescue” them from the platform hours before the blowout?

Please share with us your great expertise on this matter.


48 posted on 07/18/2010 1:40:33 PM PDT by trumandogz
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To: trumandogz

If you had continued reading the thread rather than going off half-cocked, you would see that I had replied about where I had seen this information. I spent the better part of an hour looking for the relevant post, and was unable to find it.

I suppose YOU have never posted something and lost/misplaced your reference, have you? I at least had the temerity to admit misplacing the information.

I *WAS* going to go to The Oil Drum to try and search it out there, but your childish outburst has changed my mind, I’m going to play with my dogs instead of dealing with hair-trigger verbal assaults.

Have the kind of night you deserve, and see my #45, oh aggressive one.


49 posted on 07/18/2010 7:10:27 PM PDT by Don W (I keep some folks' numbers in my 'phone just so I know NOT to answer when they call...)
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To: HoustonCurmudgeon

The guy who built it at Cooper Cameron said so.


50 posted on 07/18/2010 7:24:49 PM PDT by grapeape (Don't rally around BP. They are endagering the rest of the oil industry.)
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