March 2011, Vol. 238 No. 3

Web Exclusive

DNV: Deepwater Horizon Blowout Preventer Design Flawed, May Affect Other BOPs

Det Norske Veritas has completed its eight-month forensic examination of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer (BOP), made at the request of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), and determined that the primary cause of trouble was that the blind shear rams intended to cut through the drill pipe were unable to sever a bent pipe. The report is publicly available as of March 23, in two PDF volumes, Vol. I and Vol. II. The report theorizes that the position of a drill pipe tool joint led to a pipe buckle just above the position of the blind shear rams from the moment the well began flowing–long before the explosion. The buckle meant the pipe

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