Well well well, it`s apparent after reading all the below information that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was no accident, in fact I would call it an on purpose! I know they didn`t want the explosion and ongoing spill to happen but their actions made it an inevitable event, I take no credit for any of the below information, they are not my words but.....I found the whole story so disturbing I wanted to make sure the Straight Goods faithful read the facts.
Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion
The Deepwater Horizon was a floating oil drilling rig — The platform was 396 feet (121 m) long and 256 feet (78 m) wide and could operate in waters up to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) deep, to a maximum drill depth of 30,000 feet (9,100 m). Press releases from Transocean state the platform had historically been used for deeper wells, including the deepest underwater gas and oil well in history at 35,055 feet (10,685 m) in 2009 The $560 million platform was built by Hyundai industries in south Korea and completed in 2001. It was owned by Transocean, operated under the Marshalese flag of convenience, and was under lease to BP until September 2013. At the time of the explosion, the Deepwater Horizon was on Missippi canyon Block 252, referred to as the Macondo prospect, in the United States sector of the Gulf of Mexico, about 41 miles (66 km) off the Louisiana coast. In March 2008, the mineral rights to drill for oil on the Macondo Prospect. The platform commenced drilling in February 2010 at a water depth of approximately 5,000 feet (1,500 m). At the time of the explosion the rig was drilling an exploratory well. The planned well was to be drilled to 18,000 feet (5,500 m) below sea level, and was to be plugged and suspended for subsequent completion as a subsea producer. Production casing was being run and cemented at the time of the accident. Once the cementing was complete, it was due to be tested for integrity and a cement plug set to temporarily abandon the well for later completion as a subsea producer.
Pre-explosion risks and precautions
Offshore drilling rigs are large, complex, mechanical operations that operate in conditions subject to both human error and adverse natural conditions. Minerals Management Service records show that since 2001, there have been 69 offshore deaths, 1,349 injuries and 858 fires and explosions in the Gulf of Mexico. There were 39 fires or explosions on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in the first five months of 2009, the last period with statistics available.
In February 2009, BP filed a 52 page exploration and environmental impact plan for the Macondo well with the Minerals management systems (MMS), an arm of the United States department of the interior that oversees offshore drilling. The plan stated that it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities". In the event an accident did take place the plan stated that due to the well being 48 miles (77 km) from shore and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts would be expected. The Department of the Interior exempted BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact study after concluding that a massive oil spill was unlikely. In addition, following a loosening of regulations in 2008, BP was not required to file a detailed blowout plan.
The BP wellhead had been fitted with a blowout preventor (BOP), but it was not fitted with remote-control or acoustically-activated triggers for use in case of an emergency requiring a platform to be evacuated. It did have a dead man's switch designed to automatically cut the pipe and seal the well if communication from the platform is lost, but it was unknown whether the switch was activated. Regulators in both Norway and Brazil generally require acoustically-activated triggers on all offshore platforms, but when the Minerals Management Service considered requiring the remote device, a report commissioned by the agency as well as drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness. In 2003, the agency determined that the device would not be required because drilling rigs had other back-up systems to cut off a well.
Pre-explosion problems and warnings
There had been numerous previous spills and fires on the Deepwater Horizon; the Coast Guard had issued pollution citations 18 times between 2000 and 2010, and had investigated 16 fires and other incidents. The previous fires, spills, and incidents were not considered unusual for a Gulf platform and have not been connected to the April, 2010 explosion and spill. The Deepwater Horizon did, however, have other serious incidents, including one in 2008 in which 77 people were evacuated from the platform when it listed and began to sink after a section of pipe was accidentally removed from the platform's ballast system. By April 20, the Deepwater Horizon well operation was already running five weeks late. Internal BP documents show that BP engineers had concerns as early as 2009 that the metal casing BP wanted to use might collapse under high pressure. In March 2010, the rig experienced problems that included drilling mud falling into the undersea oil formation, sudden gas releases, a pipe falling into the well, and at least three occasions of the blowout preventer leaking fluid. The rig's mechanic has stated that the well had problems for months and that the drill repeatedly kicked due to high gas pressure providing resistance. The levels of gas coming up from the well were twice as high as he'd ever seen in his career.
According to a report by 60 minutes the blowout preventer was damaged in a previously unreported accident in late March 2010. The American bureau of shipping last inspected the rig's failed blowout preventer in 2005. According to Transocean, workers had been performing standard routines and had no indication of any problems prior to the explosion. Preliminary findings from BP’s internal investigation released by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 25 indicated several serious warning signs in the hours just prior to the explosion. Equipment readings indicated gas bubbling into the well, which could signal an impending blowout. The heavy drilling mud in the pipes initially held down the gas of the leaking well. A BP official onboard the rig directed the crew to replace the drilling mud, which is used to keep the well's pressure down, with lighter seawater even though the rig's chief driller protested. According to a number of rig workers, it was understood that workers could get fired for raising safety concerns that might delay drilling.
On March 10, 2010, a BP executive e-mailed the Minerals Management systemsthat there was a stuck pipe and well control situation at the drilling site, and that BP would have to plugback the well. A draft of a BP memo in April warned that the cementing of the casing was unlikely to be successful. Halliburton has said that it had finished cementing 20 hours before the fire, but had not yet set the final cement plug. A special nitrogen-foamed cement was used which is more difficult to handle than standard cement.
The fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon reportedly started at 9:56 p.m. on April 20, 2010. According to Transocean executive Adrian Rose, abnormal pressure accumulated inside the marine riser and as it came up it "expanded rapidly and ignited".According to interviews with platform workers conducted during BP's internal investigation, a bubble of methane gas escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before exploding. Rose said the event was basically a blowout. Survivors described the incident as a sudden explosion which gave them less than five minutes to escape as the alarm went off.
The explosion was followed by a fire that engulfed the platform. According to an unnamed witness, Deepwater Horizon installation manager Jimmy Harrell, an employee of Transocean, was speaking to someone in Houston Texas when the fire started, and was heard screaming, "Are you fucking happy? Are you fucking happy? The rig's on fire! I told you this was gonna happen."Survivors describe the scene as like the movie Titanic, and a fire so bright that they couldn't look at it. Video of the fire shows billowing flames, taller than a multistory building, and a captain of a rescue boat described the heat as so intense that it was melting the paint off the boats. After burning for more than a day, Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, 2010. The Coast Guard stated to CNN on April 22 that they received word of the sinking at approximately 10:21 am.
On the morning of April 22, 2010 (two days after the blowout accident), CNN quoted Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashley Butler as saying that "oil was leaking from the rig at the rate of about 8,000 barrels (340,000 US gallons; 1,300,000 litres) of crude per day." That afternoon, as a large oil slick spread, Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Michael O'Berry used the same figure. Two remotely opertated underwater vehicles (ROVs) were sent down to attempt to cap the well, but had been unsuccessful. Butler warned of a leak of up to 700,000 US gallons (17,000 bbl) of diesel fuel, and BP Vice President David Rainey termed the incident as being a potential "major spill."
On April 22, BP announced that it was deploying a remotely operated underwater vehicle to the site to assess whether oil was flowing from the well. Other reports indicated that BP was using more than one remotely operated underwater vehicle and that the purpose was to attempt to plug the well pipe. On April 23, a remotely operated underwater vehicle reportedly found no oil leaking from the sunken rig and no oil flowing from the well. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry expressed cautious optimism of zero environmental impact, stating that no oil was emanating from either the wellhead or the broken pipes and that oil spilled from the explosion and sinking was being contained. The following day, April 24, Landry announced that a damaged wellhead was indeed leaking oil into the Gulf and described it as "a very serious spill".
Please make sure to read the below link, the rig bosses warned the BP executives that the blowout was a distinct possibilty if they carried on in a reckless manner.
- Harkinson, Josh (June 7, 2010). "'The Rig's on Fire! I Told You This Was Gonna Happen!'". The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/the-rigs-on-fire-i-told-you-this-was-gonna-happen/57775/
Cheers-Eyes Wide Open