Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Deepwater Horizon and the Impact on Industry Regulations

On the evening of April 20, 2010, control of an exploratory well at the Macando Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico was lost, allowing hydrocarbons to enter the drilling riser and reach the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) drilling rig. The subsequent explosions and fires onboard resulted in the rig sinking on April 22, 2010 and the loss of 11 lives. The failure of the DWH blowout preventer to seal following the uncontrolled hydrocarbon release resulted in one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history. The subsequent incident investigation, performed in New Orleans, indicated the blind shear ram was not able to close due to the presence of a buckled drill pipe, preventing the blowout preventer from sealing the well. In addition to reviewing the incident investigation, this forum will explore the implications to the industry, with respect to regulations, operation, and design requirements.

The following areas will be the focus of this forum:

  • Regulators (BSEE/BOEMRE) - Regulatory changes in response to major incidents - Input from ranking local (NOLA) officials
  • Operators (Cameron/Transocean) - Design and testing changes post-Macando
  • Industry - DNV GL - background to Macondo  failure, and blowout preventer forensic investigation - (Tentative) Gary Kenny - Historical primer on major incidents, and industry response (Kenney has led investigations for Piper Alpha; DWH; etc.)

Presented by: Shane Finneran and Brandon Rollins, DNV GL

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