A U.S. district judge Friday granted a request by BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) for additional testing of the critical safety device that failed to stop oil from gushing out of the company’s well and into the Gulf of Mexico for three months last year, the Associated Press reported.
Judge Carl Barbier of the federal district court in New Orleans gave U.K.-based BP and other parties in a civil lawsuit until April 9 to propose protocols for another battery of tests on the blowout preventer that was affixed to the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Barbier is presiding over more than 350 lawsuits and thousands of claims stemming from the deadly explosion of the BP-operated rig and resulting spill.
On Wednesday, a Norwegian engineering firm hired by the U.S. government concluded its official examination of the device by issuing a report that said the blowout preventer failed because of faulty design and a bent piece of pipe.
The same firm, Det Norske Veritas, will perform additional tests that BP says will shed more light on why the blowout preventer failed.
Drilling rigs around the world rely on blowout preventers, most of them with the same basic design as the one that failed on Deepwater Horizon.
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