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Transocean Deepwater Horizon Accident


On April 20, 2010, a loss of well control occurred and resulted in an explosion and fire on the Transocean/BP Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon.

Eleven lives were lost in this incident and the MODU subsequently sank.

The well has not yet been secured, and the resulting release of oil has been declared a spill of US national significance with oil threatening sensitive coastlines and resources in the Gulf of Mexico. This has having a Global Impact on offshore drilling well control.

What Went Wrong?

At the time of the accident, the Deepwater Horizon was operating 52 miles from shore in 4,992 feet of water with a subsea Blow Out Prevention (BOP) stack. After the Deepwater Horizon sank, Remote Operating Vehicle’s confirmed that the riser was bent over and still attached to the BOP and that oil is flowing from leaks in the riser above the BOP. Numerous attempts to actuate the BOP have failed.

Corrective actions and Recommendations

While the exact causes of this event are now under investigation, the tragic nature of this accident compels operators and drilling contractors to inspect their drilling equipment and review their procedures to ensure the safety of personnel and protection of the environment.

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