News: BOP failed 62 times in three years

The Christian Science Monitor reports: The 2009 BOP reliability report: One safety-critical failure was so severe that, if a blowout had occurred at the time of the test, “they would not have been able to contain it.”

In 2009, a reliability study of Blow Out Preventers (BOPs), funded mainly by oil companies, but with participation by the US Minerals Management Service, MMS, showed that BOPs failed 62 times in three years during testing in the Gulf (2004-2006). The conclusion of the study, which was not previously reported in the press, “less testing” — from a minimum of every 14 days to once every 35 days. The reduction in testing was never adopted , but the study highlights federal reliance on industry recommendations and intensifies suspicions that industry interest have been trumping US safety regulations.

Who wants to discuss this report? Seems no one. Not the Department of Interior who refused Monitor requests to interview MMS officials involved with the BOP reliability report, not West Engineering, the Texas consulting firm who authored the report, and not the American Petroleum Institute. Monitor staff writer, Mark Clayton, examines the report and reveals how it underscores the cozy relationship with MMS and the oil industry.

Read “Study: Cut texting on blowout preventers” by Mark Clayton