There is some news coming out today with regards to the the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
First, forensic testing on the Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer finally got underway today at the NASA Michoud facility in eastern New Orleans. The tests, let by Det Norske Veritas, are crucial in determining key information about why the BOP failed to close off the well on April 20th. The tests could also provide clues about the impact of BP’s decisions leading up to the blowout and the effectiveness of the cement well lining.
Meanwhile, the National Academy of Engineering has released its interim report on the analysis and causes of the Deepwater Horizon incident and ways to ensure similar accidents don’t happen in the future. The report comes at the request of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and is presented by a committee organized under the auspices of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and National Research Council‘s (NRC) Transportation Research Board (through its Marine Board) and the Division on Earth and Life Studies, with assistance from the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences.
In the 28 page report, the committee is critical of BP, concluding that BP and its contractors made critical mistakes in heading warning signs that the cement job had failed before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, a decision that showed an “insufficient consideration of risk”. The report also raises questions about the know-how of key personnel, referring to questions regarding “the adequacy of operating knowledge on the part of the key personnel.”
The full interim report can be downloaded HERE.
The committee’s final report on its overall findings is due in June 2011.
[Image (c) Robert Almeida Photography – click for high resolution]