Internal Investigation Reports Revealed By Congress & A Call To 12th Grade Teachers

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June 16, 2010

Discoverer Enterprise Transocean Drillship Oil Spill Response

A number of the primary players in the Deepwater Horizon incident submitted their internal investigation reports to congress yesterday. While they are all more thorough than BP’s What We Know document submitted last month, some still question the amount of work put into the internal investigations, particularly the work done by Transocean.

In response to the release of documents long time gCaptain member CMJeff, who has asked to keep his real identity a secret for “fear of backlash from Transocean” brings up some interesting points in forum post titled “where’s the beef?”. He states:

Am I the only one who thinks a PowerPoint just doesn’t cut it for an internal investigation…. where’s the beef?

The (Transocean’s) report lists first the fishing boat, then the worboat, then the engines and last the Drilling equipment as the source of ignition. They mention the fishing boat and workboat twice. But this is complete bogus because if either boat ignited the gas they would have been damaged and neither was.

If I handed in a PowerPoint like this to my 12th grade history teacher I would have failed and telling the teacher “But look at all the pretty diaghrams and flow charts” wouldn’t have saved my ass.

The following are the documents in question:

But even worse than Transocean’s internal investigation report is their Major Accident Hazard Assessment. This skinny six page document pales in comparison to the intricate BowTie Xp analysis’ that other BP contractors have performed to identify major risks. Also missing are the HAZOP, FERA, FRA, PHA, QRA or Marine FMECA studies that other drilling contractors often perform. Did transocean decide not to conduct these studies or are they withholding the documents?

The lack of information in these documents is especially concerning considering the recent letter sent from congress to BP CEO Tony Hayward. For those that have yet to read the letter, it’s clear, concise and accurately points out the most pressing issues. Further, the letter is an example of what Transocean and BP investigation reports should look like because, as you can clearly see, no diagrams, pictures or flow charts are needed to accurately describe the findings of investigation. Words are enough.

Of final concern are the cookie cutter oil response plans submitted by Transocean and BP prior to drilling the Macondo well. The following are the relevant links:

With CMJeff’s comments in mind gCaptain is looking for the help of a High School science teacher for a simulated reality session. The simulation;

You have assigned your class the task of determining the cause of the Deepwater Horizon incident and provided them links to the Energy Commission reports and Testimony from the hearings in Kenner.

Each student is to describe the possible causes to the incident and write a mock investigation report that describes, in as great of depth as possible considering the available information, the likely causes of the incident. Each student was given four weeks to complete the assignment.

One of your students submitted this report. Your job is to assign a grade to it.

If any teachers are up for the task please contact us or submit you grade (and notes to the student!) in the comments below.

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