Blowout Preventers Known To Fail

HOUSTON -- An Associated Press investigation shows cutoff valves like the one that failed to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster have repeatedly broken down at other wells in the years since federal regulators weakened testing requirements.

These steel monsters known as blowout preventers guard the mouth of wells and act as the last defense to choke off unintended releases.

While the precise causes of the April 20 explosion and spill remain unknown, investigators are focusing on the blowout preventer on the Deepwater Horizon rig operated by BP PLC as one likely contributor.

A detailed AP review of accident reports shows the devices have played a role in at least 14 accidents, mostly since 2005.

And government and industry reports have questioned the reliability of blowout preventers for more than a decade.


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  • by Ask Rush Location: Everywhere on May 8, 2010 at 05:02 PM
    It was a Green Peace member in a methane bubble that caused the explosion. Just ask Rush. The cutoff valves had nothing to do with it. The methane bubble they heard racing towards them, the one that caused the explosion like several times before, was definitely the work of Green Peace. I mean, Rush Limbaugh wouldn't make up something like that and cause national division amongst Americans and suspicians from the Right. That would be totally irresponsible. It HAD to be Green Peace. Rush is probably the second coming of Jesus, as well. He'll probably believe that if enough idiots continue to feed his enormous ego. The world may truly be coming to an end.
  • by Oil Man on May 8, 2010 at 12:20 PM
    Sure they fail. They are made in China now. No quality checks. Oil companies are getting them from China because they are CHEAPER. It's all about profit and the bottom line. American jobs have been lost because oil companies have taken to buying equipment from COMMUNIST China. It's all about money not safety or environmental protection.
  • by Anonymous on May 8, 2010 at 11:12 AM
    So for 10 years the industry and the government knew of the problem and looked the other way. They should all be charged with murder and attempted murder for those that died and those on the rig that were in harms way. These companies need to learn to take responsibility for what they are doing and the results of not being responsible. Also the government not doing anything makes it look like they were being paid to look the other way. Shame on all of you.
  • by Bon Location: Greenville on May 8, 2010 at 09:24 AM
    I don't believe it. When this disaster started, the media and the authorities said the blowout preventer was "Fail Safe", that means it has so little record of it failing, it's FAIL SAFE! Now the Media wants to tell us, no no no, these things DO FAIL, and often? This is the biggest bunch of mis-information since 9-11. I am no conspiracy theorist, but I am becoming one. They can't tell us straight facts? Then they got something they are hiding!!
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