Warning Signs Present Even on Fateful Rig Day

Ford Gunter writes for the Houston Business Journal,

The Deepwater Horizon rig did not pass a key pressure test on the morning of April 20, the day of the explosion that claimed 11 lives and ultimately led to an ongoing environmental catastrophe in the form of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said that James Dupree, BP Plc’s senior vice president for the Gulf of Mexico, told investigators that the test was “not satisfactory” and “inconclusive,” the Journal reported Wednesday.

Dupree told the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which Waxman chairs, that the tests showed uneven buildups of pressure throughout the pipe, signaling a potential influx of gas into the wellbore.

A number of unnamed sources have told HBJ in recent weeks that they suspected a surge of gas up the wellbore caused the explosion that eventually sunk the rig.

Additionally, a preliminary report from the House investigation shows “four significant problems” with the blowout preventer, including “a significant leak in a key hydraulic system,” the Journal said, citing prepared remarks to be delivered Wednesday morning at an Energy and Commerce hearing on the Gulf Oil spill.

Read more at the  Houston Business Journal:

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