August 24, 2010 |
Engineering crews working on the BP oil well disaster Monday continued efforts to remove an obstacle to their undersea endgame: a 3,000-foot drill pipe that is stuck in the blowout preventer and extends far down the well. Specifically, the pipe is jammed in a shear ram, a last-resort safety device that is supposed to seal an oil well and quell a gusher like the one that erupted below the Deepwater Horizon rig April 20 off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials hope removing the pipe will make it easier to replace the original blowout preventer with a stronger one that should help engineers safely execute a "bottom kill" — the final step in fully closing a well that spewed an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude until its provisional closure with a huge metal cap in mid-July.
July 22, 2010 |
Federal investigators painted a picture Thursday that suggested BP and oil-rig owner Transocean cut corners aboard the doomed Deepwater Horizon, which exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Investigators have suggested that crew members were under pressure to finish their work aboard the floating mobile oil rig, which was trying to finish off an exploratory well, plug it so a production rig could be put into place and move on to a new site.
August 17, 2010 |
The day the BP oil well can be permanently declared dead has been pushed back to late August so experts can devise plans to reduce risks during the final well-killing procedure, the federal government's spill response chief said Monday. "There's nobody that wants to have this happen any quicker than I do, but there's nobody that wants to incur more risk to this operation," said Thad Allen, the national incident commander. "When we finish this thing, this will be a stake in the heart of this well, and that's my overall intention," he said.
December 15, 2011 |
The petroleum industry and federal regulators focused more on exploration and production than safety in the years leading up to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, helping to set the stage for the worst offshore environmental disaster in U.S. history, according to a new independent report by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council. Conducted at the behest of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the report said the "multiple flawed decisions that led to a blowout" on the Deepwater Horizon rig resulted from "a deficient overall systems approach to safety" among the corporations that ran the drilling of the Macondo well, including BP, Transocean and Halliburton.
October 7, 2010 |
With the BP oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico successfully contained, Shell Alaska announced Wednesday that it had filed an application to proceed with exploratory offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska. The Obama administration suspended all offshore operations in the remote, fragile Arctic seas this year after the BP spill, but Shell officials said they had prepared a more robust oil blowout containment plan and were ready to proceed next summer with a single well 17 miles off the North Slope.
November 22, 2010 |
Facing the worst offshore oil disaster in American history, BP rapidly developed and implemented new technologies to contain the damage and the government watchdogs established "effective oversight," according to a report issued on Monday by the presidential panel investigating the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. But the rare praise for the way they responded once disaster struck was coupled with scathing indictments of...
May 28, 2010 |
Engineers have at least temporarily stopped the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from a gushing BP well, the federal government's top oil-spill commander, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said Thursday morning. The "top kill" effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting. The top kill effort is not complete, officials caution.
May 11, 2010 |
As they prepared to deal with political fallout on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, BP and its contractors scrambled Monday to develop fresh ways to battle the undersea geyser that has pumped about 4 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The latest proposed fix, dubbed a "top hat," is a smaller version of the 100-ton dome that failed over the weekend when hot gas from the well and cold sea water formed slushy hydrate crystals that gummed up the works. The smaller dimensions of the new steel box, which weighs 2 tons and could be in place within 72 hours, will allow heat from the spurting oil to build up in the interior much more quickly, the company said, preventing hydrates from forming and allowing the oil, water and gas mixture to more easily flow up a pipe to a waiting ship.
August 21, 2010 |
Federal investigators on Monday are expected to confront executives and managers of BP and rig owner Transocean Ltd. about catastrophic failures in oil well design and disabled safety systems that may have played a role in the deaths of 11 crewmen on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon. The joint U.S. Coast Guard- Interior Department investigation into the April 20 blowout has amassed a trove of testimony during three previous hearings in Louisiana and this week moves to Houston, the hub of the nation's oil and gas industry, where BP and other firms linked to the disaster have offices.
August 7, 2010 |
Encouraged by signs that a new cement plug was setting properly, BP on Friday returned to the drilling operation that will spell the ultimate end of its notorious gulf well. It has been a landmark week for BP, which succeeded in stuffing its damaged deep-sea well with heavy mud and then cement, effectively shutting it down, more than three months after the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and set off a slow-motion environmental disaster. BP was waiting for the 500 barrels of cement it pumped into the well to dry and administering pressure tests to make sure the plug was holding.