BP Releases Report on Causes of Gulf of Mexico Tragedy

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on September 8, 2010

Follow up to previous postings on the Gulf Coast oil spill, see this news – BP Releases Report on Causes of Gulf of Mexico Tragedy: “No single factor caused the Macondo well tragedy. Rather, a sequence of failures involving a number of different parties led to the explosion and fire which killed 11 people and caused widespread pollution in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year. A report released by BP today concludes that decisions made by “multiple companies and work teams” contributed to the accident which it says arose from “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces.”

  • Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report, September 8, 2010 (1932 pages, PDF): “This report presents an analysis of the events leading up to the accident, eight key findings related to the causal chain of events and recommendations to enable the prevention of a similar accident. The investigation team worked separately from any investigation conducted by other companies involved in the accident, and it did not review its analyses, conclusions or recommendations with any other company or investigation team. Also, at the time this report was written, other investigations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Joint Investigation and the President’s National Commission were ongoing. While the understanding of this accident will continue to develop with time, the information in this report can support learning and the prevention of a recurrence. The accident on April 20, 2010, involved a well integrity failure, followed by a loss of hydrostatic control of the well. This was followed by a failure to control the flow from the well with the BOP equipment, which allowed the release and subsequent ignition of hydrocarbons. Ultimately, the BOP emergency functions failed to seal the well after the initial explosions”

  • See also BP produced video (29 mins) and accompanying slide presentation (PDF).

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