Deepwater Horizon Update: Transocean's Investigation

Bruce Thompson
More than 14 months after the blowout and explosion aboard Transocean's Deepwater Horizon drill rig, the company  has come forth with their public investigative report. It was accompanied by a press release. The debate is likely to get very heated!  Skeptics of the government's transparency should not miss the video on the blowout preventer (BOP) and the documentation in Chapter 3.4.  Have you seen anyone from the Unified Incident Command or the President's Oil Spill Commission publicly announce that the blind shear ram (BSR) in the BOP did indeed sever the drill pipe before the rig sank on April 22, 2010?  I thought not. AT readers have known that factoid since September.

On first glance, the report tries to tell the story from Transocean's perspective and reflects the uncertainties caused by the deaths of so many of their management employees in the explosion. A glaring omission is any discussion of the remotely operate vehicle (ROV) intervention by their own Daun Winslow, and whether or not he activated the BSR rather than it being activated automatically as their report claims.  So expect the report to get a severe challenge.

BP went first with their Bly report, then the Oil Spill Commission (OCS), the chief counsel of the OSC's amended report, the Det Norske Veritas forensic report on the BOP, the Coast Guard's investigation, now Transocean. Yet to be heard from are Halliburton and the Bureau of Ocean Engineering, Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) reports. This is a long way from being settled.

More than 14 months after the blowout and explosion aboard Transocean's Deepwater Horizon drill rig, the company  has come forth with their public investigative report. It was accompanied by a press release. The debate is likely to get very heated!  Skeptics of the government's transparency should not miss the video on the blowout preventer (BOP) and the documentation in Chapter 3.4.  Have you seen anyone from the Unified Incident Command or the President's Oil Spill Commission publicly announce that the blind shear ram (BSR) in the BOP did indeed sever the drill pipe before the rig sank on April 22, 2010?  I thought not. AT readers have known that factoid since September.

On first glance, the report tries to tell the story from Transocean's perspective and reflects the uncertainties caused by the deaths of so many of their management employees in the explosion. A glaring omission is any discussion of the remotely operate vehicle (ROV) intervention by their own Daun Winslow, and whether or not he activated the BSR rather than it being activated automatically as their report claims.  So expect the report to get a severe challenge.

BP went first with their Bly report, then the Oil Spill Commission (OCS), the chief counsel of the OSC's amended report, the Det Norske Veritas forensic report on the BOP, the Coast Guard's investigation, now Transocean. Yet to be heard from are Halliburton and the Bureau of Ocean Engineering, Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) reports. This is a long way from being settled.