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blowout preventer 20 articles

Deadly Oklahoma Rig Explosion Likely Caused By Blowout Preventer Failure

Federal officials said they will open a full investigation of the rig explosion that killed five workers in eastern Oklahoma last month as early indications show the failure of a critical piece of equipment may have contributed to the deadly blast. The Chemical Safety Board, an independent non-regulatory federal agency charged with investigating large industrial chemical accidents, said it sent two investigators to the rig explosion site near Quinton, Oklahoma on Jan. 24 to begin the probe. The rig, owned by Houston-based company Patterson-UTI, exploded about 9 a.m. on Jan. 22 when an uncontrolled release of natural gas from a ... Read More

Blowout preventer problems that led to BP oil spill still threaten Gulf, new report finds

A “litany of flaws” still plagues the devices offshore oil drillers in the Gulf of Mexico rely on to prevent blowouts like the one that exploded BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, according to findings by the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. The Board’s findings potentially mean key risks that contributed to the BP oil spill – the largest environmental disaster ever to hit the U.S. – are still in place. The Chemical Board’s report, which focused on BP’s blowout preventer or “BOP,”  is one of a number of ongoing federal safety and industry investigations of the BP spill ... Read More

Federal regulators propose tougher rule governing offshore oil drilling safety

Federal safety regulators proposed a new rule last week that would update and strengthen offshore oil and gas drilling safety as energy giants reach into deeper and riskier waters for production. The proposed rule is one of several rule changes and other measures to improve worker and environmental safety adapted by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) since BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the worst oil spill in U.S. history.The new rule would require stricter life cycles for critical safety and pollution-prevention equipment to ensure it will function as required ... Read More

Hercules Offshore rig partially collapses in Gulf as blown-out well feeds fire

A natural gas drilling rig owned by Walter Oil & Gas caught fire Tuesday night and partially collapsed off the Louisiana coast, a few hours after a blowout in the well forced the evacuation of 44 workers. The Hercules Offshore rig, situated in 154 feet of water about 55 miles off the coast of Grand Isle, continues to spew tons of natural gas into the Gulf. The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported that the beams supporting the derrick and rig floor on the Hercules Offshore rig had caved in and fallen over the rig structure. Nobody ... Read More

BP, Anadarko will pay civil penalties for oil spill, judge rules

BP and minority partner Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will have to pay civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act that led to the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who is presiding over BP oil-spill litigation, ruled Wednesday. The fines are calculated on a per-barrel basis and will be determined at a later date. According to the Clean Water Act, fines can range from $1,100 per barrel of oil spilled to $4,300 per barrel, with the higher charges levied should gross negligence be ruled a factor in the cause of the oil spill. Additionally, ... Read More

Conservation groups challenge federal government in court over lax oil drilling regulations

A new lawsuit filed Tuesday in a Washington D.C. federal court challenges the federal government’s decision to accept bids from oil and gas corporations for new drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the complaint, brought by a group of conservation organizations, asserts the federal government “dismissed the lessons learned during the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster from its assessment of oil-spill risk for the Gulf of Mexico, the possible size of an oil spill, and resulting damage — all considerations that could help prevent or mitigate a future spill.” The lawsuit was filed ... Read More

Feds give BP green light to resume deepwater Gulf drilling

It’s been little more than a year since BP successfully plugged its blown-out Macondo well, and the effects of that catastrophic oil spill still abound on the Gulf Coast and deep beneath the surface. Years or even decades may pass before scientists finally get a handle on the spill’s impact, but that unfortunate mystery hasn’t stopped BP from acquiring the right to drill another exploratory well in the Gulf much like the Macondo well, only deeper. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has cleared BP to drill the well about 250 miles south of ... Read More

Oil pollutes coast a year after BP spill, millions of gallons unaccounted for

BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was successfully capped a year ago, but hundreds of miles of Gulf coast beaches and marshlands are still contaminated by oil from the blown-out Macondo well. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), oil ranging in form from sticky crude to a light sheen covers about 491 miles of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi coastline. Approximately 1,100 miles of coast have been covered with oil since BP’s Deepwater Horizon platform exploded April 20, 2010. Tim Zink, an NOAA spokesman, told Bloomberg that several miles of the Louisiana coast and marsh ... Read More

BP asks court to keep blowout preventer in neutral hands

Ever since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, BP, its partners, and its contractors have been at odds with one another, ensconced in legal efforts to share liability and mitigate hefty financial losses. This week, the feud escalated between BP and Deepwater Horizon owner Transocean, with both companies trying to gain possession of the failed blowout preventer (BOP) that federal investigators will release back into private hands. Transocean owned and had leased the Deepwater Horizon rig and its blowout preventer to BP for exploratory drilling since 2007. The 300-ton BOP sat atop the ... Read More

BP settles oil spill dispute with another partner

Weatherford U.S. LP, a Swiss oilfield service company that designed parts of BP’s blown-out Macondo well, has agreed to pay BP $75 million to preclude any future claims between the companies. The agreement also stipulates that BP will cover Weatherford for economic and environmental oil-spill damages should the company be named in lawsuits brought by plaintiffs harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP said that the $75 million will be applied to the $20-billion oil-spill relief fund that was established to pay claims brought by individuals and businesses hurt by the massive oil spill, which erupted April 20th 2010 ... Read More