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BP's Gulf Spill Report Shows String of Failures 181

eldavojohn writes "News is out of BP's report on the gulf spill that shifts some of the blame on to other companies like Transocean that worked with BP in erecting the Deepwater Horizon rig. If you were affected by the spill, you might find the video, executive summary and 193-page report an interesting read. The summary outlines six or seven major failures in safety and engineering that all built up to the deaths of eleven workers and widespread contamination of the gulf. From incorrectly using seawater instead of drilling fluid to misinterpreting pressure test results, this report is just BP's side of the story as the blowout preventer has been pulled up and is still on its way to NASA where it will be analyzed by government investigators who will be able to compile their own report."
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BP's Gulf Spill Report Shows String of Failures

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  • Re:Bad link (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:17PM (#33510268)

    The link points directly to an error page. I mean, it actually points to securityerrorpageredirect.jsp! []

  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:24PM (#33510352)

    You know, the sex and other perks that bought off the regulators?

    You're confused. The sex and cocaine was in the Denver office and related to mining in the West ;-)

  • by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:25PM (#33510360)

    It is the same with aviation accidents. Sometimes it's just an individual screwing up, but that's the exception.

    No, it's the norm if not always the reason. Poke around here [] and you'll see that just about all aviation accidents are because someone screwed up. The NTSB is excellent at pinpointing the failure. The most I've ever seen was an accident several years ago that had three causes: 1. bad weather, 2. improper maintenance, 3. pilot error in dealing with failure. Most of the time, it boils down to #3 - pilot error.

  • Rebuttles (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bill Dimm ( 463823 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:29PM (#33510406) Homepage

    No surprise, Transocean finds fault with the report [], as does Halliburton [].

  • by The Moof ( 859402 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:33PM (#33510478)
    The others have already responded [] to the claims, dumping the fault right back at BP. This is going to be interesting
  • Re:On a side note (Score:4, Informative)

    by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @02:13PM (#33511014)

    Since when has ocean drilling even a part of space exploration? Or any drilling for that matter?

    One of the anticipated problems of future space missions is that humans will need to find resources outside of the Earth environment. The amount of energy required to lift materials out of the gravity well of our planet is huge, so it makes sense to explore other options. NASA has researched laser drilling [], deep drilling Mars for water [], Moon drilling [], low energy mobile drilling [] etc. NASA's remit is not just shooting satellites into orbit, it is also to conduct early stage R&D for exactly this kind of stuff.

    And why the FUCK is NASA the only expert around to be able to help the stranded miners?

    NASA employs many experts with the skills to do detailed drilling, modelling and geologic and seismic analysis.

    Why does NASA have not only the desire, expertise, or the capability to test a BOP?

    Who would you rather have test it? Deep sea drilling is a tight-knit industry. I would be surprised if there were any independent testing labs for this technology.

  • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @02:37PM (#33511466) Journal

    What *wasn't* in the NTSB report: the switch was behind him, in a tight space, and he couldn't see over his shoulder clearly enough to tell if the switch was in the proper place.

    That WAS in the NTSB report, in fact Denver and a mechanic discussed it, the mechanic attempted to attach a pair of vice-grips as a workaround, and Denver said he'd use the autopilot to ensure straight-and-level if he had to mess with it in flight. He also refused a refuel stating that he'd be flying for an hour. []

    But the engineer(s) who put the switch behind the pilot's seat are just as much, if not moreso, to blame

    Actually, the aircraft wasn't engineered that way. Someone (apparently a previous owner) modified it. Denver was aware of the modification, aware of its shortcomings, had actually made arrangements to fix it permanently, attempted a failed temporary fix with an A&P mechanic, then decided to fly it anyway without making sure both tanks were full (in fact, the A&P interviewed stated that Denver had initially tried to start the engine on a tank that might have been empty, meaning Denver's attempts to change tanks would have been in vain since he switched to the only tank with an unknown quantity of fuel left before takeoff).

    Sorry, John Denver was a great singer. But the blame for the crash rests firmly on his shoulders.

    This is a perfect example of a "string of failures". Someone made an ill-considered modification to an aircraft that Denver (an experienced pilot) bought. This modification made it difficult to change tanks. Denver knew about the problem, but completely failed to mitigate it by:

    1. Not making sure he had enough fuel on board in his chosen primary tank for a short flight,
    2. Not making sure he would be able to switch the tanks while in flight,
    3. Apparently not ensuring that his alternate tank had any fuel in it at all, so even if he did manipulate the switch he may well have been switching from one empty to another,
    4. Insisting on a short flight before he would be taking a trip that would give his A&P plenty of time to fix the problem and relocate the switch where it belonged.

    Proper handling of ANY of the four issues above could have turned the disaster into a safe flight (or at least a case of "being down here, wishing you were up there", which isn't usually fatal like "being up there, wishing you were down here" sometimes is).

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @02:40PM (#33511502) Homepage Journal

    From the Libertarian party's website:

    We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association. We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals. We oppose government subsidies to business, labor, or any other special interest. Industries should be governed by free markets.

    Sure looks to me like they support them.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming