Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US military targets Shabaab extremists in Somalia

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

Americas

BP investigation shows warning signs before oil rig blast

Video by Georja Calvin-Smith

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-26

BP had advance malfunction warnings before the deadly April 20 explosion that sank its Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and caused the massive oil spill, according to a congressional memo based on an internal BP investigation.

REUTERS - BP Plc told congressional investigators on Tuesday that pressure tests on a drill pipe showed a fundamental mistake hours before the deadly explosion that caused the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, a memo released by two congressmen showed.

The memo by Representatives Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak, who were briefed by BP about the progress of its internal investigation, also said problems were found in equipment meant to provide fail-safe protection against a blow out.

A BP investigator indicated to the lawmakers that the fundamental mistake may have been made because heavy pressure on the drill line of 1,400 pounds per square inch (98 kg per square cm) was an “indicator of a very large abnormality.”

The memo did not indicate who made decisions after the problem was found. BP and Transocean, the owner and operator of the rig, had supervisors on the rig when it exploded.

About two hours before the explosion that killed 11 workers and caused the leak that is still gushing oil, the rig team was satisfied a test on another line was successful, the BP investigator said.

BP would not comment on the memo.

A Transocean spokesman blamed BP for the disaster, saying, “A well is constructed and completed the same way a house is built—at the direction of the owner and the architect. And in this case, that’s BP.”

The congressional memo said BP data showed there were numerous problems with production equipment. Nearly five hours before the explosion, an unexpected loss of fluid was observed in the well’s riser pipe. That suggests “there were leaks in the annual preventer,” a rubber gasket in the blowout preventer, the memo said.

Waxman and Stupak chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigative subcommittee, which has reviewed over 105,000 pages of internal documents from BP, rig owner Transocean Ltd, Halliburton Co, and blowout preventer manufacturer Cameron.

The memo said the BP investigation has also raised concerns about the maintenance history, modification, and inspection of the blowout preventer.

Officials from BP and Transocean are scheduled to testify before congressional panels on Thursday.

According to BP, there also were three warning signs of problems with unwanted flow in the well starting 51 minutes before the explosion. About 18 minutes before the explosion abnormal pressure leaks of the fluids known as mud meant to keep oil and gas capped were observed and the pump was shut down.

“The data suggests that the crew may have attempted mechanical interventions at that point to control the pressure, but soon after, the flow out and pressure increased dramatically and the explosion took place,” the memo said.

Date created : 2010-05-26

  • USA

    BP shareholders hit management board with lawsuit

    Read more

  • USA

    Critical of BP oil spill clean-up, Washington threatens to take over

    Read more

  • USA

    Obama launches oil spill commission as slick hits beaches

    Read more

COMMENT(S)