Create a free Manufacturing.net account to continue

BP Wants More Tests On Failed Safety Device

Attorney says BP is nearing a deal to have more tests performed on the critical safety device that failed to stop oil from gushing out of its well.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- BP PLC is nearing a deal to have more tests performed on the critical safety device that failed to stop oil from gushing out of its well during last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster, an attorney for the company said during a court hearing Friday.

The lawyer, Don Haycraft, said the plaintiffs and companies involved in litigation spawned by the rig explosion and spill will present U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier with a proposed order for more tests on the rig's blowout preventer.

On Wednesday, a firm hired by the government concluded its official examination of the device by issuing a report that said it failed because of faulty design and a bent piece of pipe.

The same firm, Det Norske Veritas, will perform additional tests that BP says will shed more light on why the blowout preventer failed.

"The (blowout preventer) is going to stay right where it is. It's not going anywhere," said Barbier, who is presiding over more than 350 lawsuits and thousands of claims by people and businesses who say they have been harmed by the spill.

The parties are expected to submit a plan for how to perform the additional tests by April 9. Haycraft said testing should begin soon after.

Wednesday's report cast blame on the blowout preventer's blind shear rams, which are supposed to pinch a well shut in an emergency by shearing through the well's drill pipe. The report said the shear rams couldn't do their job because the drill pipe had buckled, bowed and become stuck.

More in Operations