UK SAFETY officials warned Transocean in 2006 about a defect in one of its rig’s blowout preventers – the same safety device being blamed in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Oil is continuing to spill into the Gulf of Mexico from a well leak caused by an explosion on Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon rig last month, which has been linked with the failure of its blowout preventer.
The fatal blast took place four years after the UK’s Health & Safety Authority issued an improvement notice to Transocean relating to one of its other rigs.
“The multipurpose tool used in blowout preventer pressure testing was not so constructed as to be suitable for the purpose for which it was provided: and failed in service, exposing persons to risks that endangered their safety on 29th April 2006,” the authority said in the notice dated 9 June 2006.
The company successfully complied with the notice by the authority’s November deadline.
Earlier that year, the authority also issued a notice pointing out that the removal of the rig’s forward secondary de-ballast pump had “prejudiced the integrity of the installation, and you have failed to put in place suitable arrangements for ensuring the pump is replaced in timely manner.”
Geneva-based Transocean also complied with this notice.
Meanwhile, Transocean said yesterday that the US Department of Justice has asked it to preserve evidence from the explosion, fire and sinking.
In addition to the DoJ, the Department of Homeland Security and the Interior Department also investigating the disaster, the company said in a public filing, while the US House of Representatives and Senate have asked it to participate in hearings.
As for BP, its BP spokesman Robert Wine told Fairplay: “A blowout feeder on the seabed didn’t manage to stop a surge of pressure from coming up from the well in the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t know why it happened.
“We have been doing our best to respond to the incident from a safety-at-sea point-of-view.”
Source: SAFETY AT SEA INTERNATIONAL