• BP disaster should prompt blowout redesign

Fuel for Thought

BP disaster should prompt blowout redesign

Dec 15 2011

Blowout preventers need to be redesigned in light of the huge BP oil spill during the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

According to a new report from a committee of the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council in the US, blowout preventers need to be updated to ensure that a similar disaster is prevented from happening again in the future.

The devices are supposed to seal off oil wells during an emergency to prevent spills following failures or explosions.

However, the report states that they were never designed or tested to withstand the conditions that occurred when the Macondo well exploded.

"It failed to stop the blowout because of its design and operational shortcomings," the committee reported.

"There is an urgent need for those shortcomings to be corrected."

It also claimed that workers had a "misplaced trust" that if anything went wrong they could count on the blowout preventer.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 workers on the rig and caused a spill of an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil.

Posted by Claire Manning

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