- Published: 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
On August 20th, 2010 a recently installed concrete core ruptured, allowing a surge of natural gas to escape; travelling up to the rig platform and ignited. The explosion killed 11 people and injured another 17. Two days later the riser was ruptured and the oil began to spill. Once the spill started (after the explosion) BP activated the Blowout Preventer – device to close the channel stopping the flow of oil – however the device malfunctioned. 87 days later the leak was capped, in the meantime a total of 200 Million gallons of oil already escaped into the Gulf of Mexico.
As a consequence to this accident, BP paid multimillion dollars’ worth of environmental fines, $40billion in settlement, cleanup and criminals fines and pleaded guilty for 11 counts of manslaughter. BP is also facing an ongoing gross negligence case, if found guilty will be charged an additional $4300 per barrel leaked (4.2Million Barrels * $4300).
What if they had Field Eagle?
We suspect that proper inspections could have prevented this situation. This accident had two pain points:
1) Concrete Core was not strong enough to withstand the natural gas pressure
After the concrete core was installed, the core should have been inspected immediately to ensure it could withstand the pressure. During this inspection the problem would have been found and fixed before the rig was reopened. Therefore, the concrete core would not have ruptured, and the accident would have been avoided.
2) The Blowout Preventer failed
During full rig/platform inspections, the Blowout Preventer would have been inspected and the malfunction would have been found and the device replaced. Therefore, when the device was activated it would have closed the channel in time, stopping the oil from polluting the Gulf.
We want to hear from you join the conversation with #FEPrevent, do you think Inspections alone could have prevented this?
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