Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Failure of the blowout preventer

Blowout preventer:
There are two type of BOPs; ram and annular blowout preventer. The investigation of the Gulf of Mexico spill questions if the individuals or companies neglected the environmental laws. The function of the BOP is similar to the air bag of a car. The accident cannot be prevented but the fatalities from it can be prevented. BOP is the last resort or last option to stop a gusher or a blowout.
Drill Pipe:
At the oil well at Gulf of Mexico the drill pipe was connected to the rig through a device and through the initial 3,000 feet of the well. This extended some 2 ½ miles in the earth. During the spillover the pressure of the blowout preventer knocked the drill pipe before the BOP could have a chance to perform its function of stopping a spillover. The drill pipe was deflected once the well began to flow.
The federal investigators studying the spillover hired a Norwegian company to analyze the recovered blowout preventer. The report given by the company suggested that the industry should perform a detailed test on the functions of the blowout preventer. The report concluded that the BOP would have performed its functions if it was designed to keep the drill pipe in the appropriate place during the spillover. The findings of the report said that the BOP was functioning well. It was the high pressures from the well that caused the spillover. It created conditions that could not be controlled by the BOP as it was beyond its design parameters.
Whatever the blowout preventer type; ram or annular blowout preventer it has specific conditions it can operate under. But, if the conditions are beyond the design of the blowout preventer it is hard to control a spillover.


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