BP plc on Thursday said the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and Macondo well blowout had spurred innovation and collaboration, resulting in new technology that will provide ways to deal with future offshore disasters.
The report, “Lessons Learned,” highlights new technologies, work systems and the spirit of collaboration that followed the disastrous blowout April 20 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. BP’s response to the spill is not part of the report; the producer has set aside more than $20 billion to compensate for damages and it faces numerous lawsuits as well as a criminal investigation.
Explained in the report are how BP engineers tried various ways to stem the well blowout and “the result has been a series of developments, ranging from incremental enhancements to step changes in technologies and techniques.” These lessons have “laid the foundation for future refinements as part of an enhanced regime for any type of source-to-shore response.”
The London-based producer said the document is “a continuation of discussions with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) in order to provide a preliminary outline of some of the important lessons learned in the course of responding to the explosion.”
BOEM Chief Michael Bromwich had requested the analysis during a meeting with BP officials in early August. He took part in discussing the findings on Thursday with senior BP executives including COO Doug Suttles and Vice President of Operations Richard Morrison.
Federal officials said the briefing and the report will help to guide future decisions about offshore drilling and exploration, including whether to modify the deepwater moratorium set to expire on Nov. 30.
Among the advances that BP claims have been made since the disaster (see Daily GPI, Aug. 4) are new ways to control blown-out wells through “the proven capacity to engineer and construct closed systems allowing not only for the collection of hydrocarbons but also the control of flow and the introduction of well-control fluids.”
In addition BP said the industry has learned:
The report said that “from source to shore, existing systems were evolved and expanded and new ones developed to advance work flow, improve coordination, focus efforts and manage risks. The adoption of these systems will ensure the ability to respond more rapidly at scale with a clear direction as to personnel, resource and organizational needs.”
The authors said they are “sharing our lessons, experiences and advancements through various industry mechanisms, and we are looking forward to making response leaders and experts available for additional activities in this regard.”
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