Jane Van Ryan
Posted September 8, 2010
BP today released the results of its own investigation into the Deepwater Horizon accident. It determined that a series of mechanical failures, the misinterpretation of data, and other factors attributable to all of the companies working on the rig led to the explosions, fire and the deaths of 11 offshore workers.
In a news release, BP reported that crew "failed to recognise (sic) and act on" hydrocarbons that flowed up the well casing for 40 minutes. Some of the gas entered the engine rooms through the ventilation system where it might have ignited. Although the blowout preventer should have stopped the flow of hydrocarbons even after the fire began, it failed to function properly.
BP's investigative team recommended 25 actions to prevent a similar accident from occurring in the future. Bob Dudley, BP's incoming chief executive says all of the recommendations have been accepted and will be shared throughout the company. He added:
"This was a tragic accident that resulted in the loss of 11 lives and impacted the communities and the environment along the Gulf Coast region. We deeply regret this event. We have sought throughout to step up to our responsibilities. We are determined to learn the lessons for the future and we will be undertaking a broad-scale review to further improve the safety of our operations. We will invest whatever it takes to achieve that. It will be incumbent on everyone at BP to embrace and implement the changes necessary to ensure that a tragedy like this can never happen again."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.