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Blowout Preventer (BOP)

To understand the possible causes of the Transocean oil drilling disaster, a basic explanation of the disaster is needed. The Deepwater Horizon was a semi-submersible drilling rig which was connected to the sea floor via a drilling string and a series of blowout preventer valves which were connected via a cementing process to the well head. During operation, an explosion occurred, starting a fire on and eventually sinking the drilling rig. Due to the failure of drilling equipment, there is a deepwater oil leak that is releasing an estimated 5,000+ barrels of oil per day into the gulf coast.

Blowout Preventer Failure

According to BP, the company leasing the Deepwater Horizon, a failure in the blowout preventer system may be to blame for the disaster. The blowout preventer is a series of valves designed to stop the flow of oil to the surface in the event of a problem. The valve system can be triggered from a remote control aboard the vessel, through a loss of communication with the vessel or through manually initiated systems that are available to the rig’s crewmembers. One focus of the investigation is looking into why the blowout preventer did not function properly and act to shut off the flow of oil and natural gas to the surface. Although crewmembers attempted to manually activate the device before evacuating, it still failed to operate. The exact cause of the disaster has yet to be determined.

If you have been financially damaged by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the maritime injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP can help. Contact a maritime attorney online at Arnold & Itkin LLP or call our maritime law office toll free at 888-498-8212. We will discuss your concerns and provide a candid evaluation of your claim, all as part of a free consultation.

Possible Incident Causes
Blowout Preventer (BOP)
Cementing Process
Methane Pockets
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