Blowout preventer overhaul way off

The blowout preventer that failed on a BP well last year was four years overdue for maintenance under driller Transocean Ltd.’s internal guidelines, a U.S. regulator said.

04/26/2011


The blowout preventer that failed on a BP well last year was four years overdue for maintenance under driller Transocean Ltd.’s internal guidelines, a U.S. regulator said.

The Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer had not been disassembled and refurbished since the rig was commissioned in 2001, said Jason Mathews of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement during an investigative hearing in Metairie, La.

Under Transocean’s own rules, there should have been an overhaul of the blowout preventer no later than the summer of 2006, Mathews said.

The preventer is a 300-ton stack of valves and pipes designed to stop an oil well from surging out of control.

In the Deepwater Horizon incident, the blowout preventer’s blades failed to sever and seal the pipe from BP’s Macondo well during the April 2010 disaster that killed 11 rig workers, sank the vessel, and spewed enough crude into the sea to fill two supertankers, according to a study commissioned by a joint US Coast Guard-Interior Department panel. Mathews is one of eight members of the panel.

The blowout preventer wasn’t in need of an overhaul, Michael Fry, a Transocean manager who oversees subsea equipment used on all of the company’s Gulf of Mexico rigs, told the panel.

“If it’s not found to be outside its operating tolerances, that piece of equipment stays in service,’’ Fry said.

A study of the blowout preventer, carried out by Det Norske Veritas, concluded a lack of maintenance work was not a factor in the failure of the blades to crimp the pipe. Cameron International Corp., based in Houston, made the blowout preventer used by the Deepwater Horizon.



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me