BP Oil Rig a Mess: Dead Battery, Bad Wiring, Leaky Blowout Preventer
May 13, 2010
(ChattahBox)—As officials responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster pointed fingers of blame at each other, while being grilled by a Congressional panel this week, one thing became clear: the oil drilling industry is woefully unregulated. And BP, the firm that leased and operated the oil rig, failed to follow a number of safety protocols and used poor or deficient equipment on the day of the disaster on the Gulf Coast. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), said a shocking “culture of incompetence” has been uncovered at BP.
On the day of the explosion, several problems may have contributed to the disaster:
“Wednesday’s hearings by congressional and administration panels — in Washington and in Louisiana — laid out a checklist of unseen breakdowns on largely unregulated aspects of well safety that appear to have contributed to the April 20 blowout: a leaky cement job, a loose hydraulic fitting, a dead battery.” [...]
“According to the testimony and other evidence that has emerged this week, the first sign of trouble came shortly before dawn. Workers pumped out heavy drilling fluid for a negative pressure test to make sure underground gas couldn’t seep into the well. That test failed: it meant the well might be leaking. Another test was run. It too failed.”
But workers resumed work on the well, despite the failed tests. Making the dire situation even worse, the fail-safe blowout preventer was inoperable due to a leak and a dead battery in control pod switches that activates it.
Investigators are also examining the cement work done on the oil rig by Haliburton, just hours before the explosion that killed 11 workers and set off an ecological and economic disaster of catastrophic proportions. A lawsuit was filed against the rig’s owner Transocean, BP and Haliburton, by a group of fishermen, claiming an inferior cement was used, leading to the methane gas leak that ignited into a fireball in the Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, the oil continues to gush into the Gulf, destroying sensitive ecosystems, wildlife and commercial fisheries.