Skip to comments.BP oil spill: failed safety device on Deepwater Horizon rig was modified in China
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 ...
“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.
Holy Cow !
Libertarians mean well, but they lack wisdom.
Wonder how many other BOP units have been modified and upgraded in China ?
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.
Have seen this a lot on some supposedly grade 8 bolts. They will snap at 50 to 70% of their torque value.
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."
>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.
Been doing this for 30 years. Probably have a lot of International customers.
I remember that. It was Newt’s Republican controlled Congress that twisted arms the hardest for MFN status for China.
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.
More evidence of BP’s “go cheap at any cost” approach.
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.
There, fixed it.
.....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
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.
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.
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.