Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: BP's Internal Investigation Shows Warning Signs Abounded Before Explosion
The U.S. Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming has released preliminary details from BP's on-going internal investigation of the events that precipitated the explosion the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig.
According to BP's findings there were several warning signs of problems.
Here are some highlights:
- Two hours before the explosion negative pressure testing was conducted. During this test the system gained 15 barrels of liquid instead of the expected 5 barrels, suggesting the possibility there was an "influx from the well."
- 51 minutes before the explosion a flow indicator showed that more fluid was coming out of the well than being pumped in.
- 41 minutes before the explosion another flow indicator showed that when the pump was shut down for a "sheen" test, the well continued to flow instead of stopping, and the drill pipe pressure also increased unexpectedly.
- 18 minutes before the explosion abnormally high pressures and mud returns were reported and the pump was shut down. At this point the data suggests the crew tried mechanical interventions to curb the increased pressure, but they failed and the pressure increased dramatically causing the explosion.
BP's findings thus far lead to a series of questions including, if proper procedures were followed during critical activities that day. For example, negative testing was originally conducted on the drill pipe even though the procedure manual specified such testing should be performed on the kill line.
Read the full story at Congressman Ed Markey's Website: Key Questions Arising from Inquiry into the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill [pdf]
Find out Everything You Need to Know About the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill here.
Energy Boom content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advice regarding the investment merits of, or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of, any security identified on, or linked through, this site.