After Another Close Call, Transocean Changed Rules – New York Times

This morning the New York Times published an article entitled After Another Close Call, Transocean Changed Rules that points to Transocean’s critical changes to its own policies for handling oil well safety just weeks before the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Four months before the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, another oil rig owned by the same company faced a strikingly similar emergency in the North Sea that was contained only because its safety equipment functioned properly, according to confidential internal documents.

In response to the near disaster, Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling company, ordered critical changes to its own policies for handling oil well safety. But it is not clear whether those policy changes reached the Deepwater Horizon crew before that rig exploded.

Like the disaster in the gulf, the North Sea emergency involved dangerous pressure levels, a failure to detect those pressures in time, a risky plan for sealing the well and an emergency order for the crew to evacuate to lifeboats. Full Story