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CSB report on Deepwater Horizon BOP

Recorded On: 10/07/2014

On June 5, 2014, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its report on the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer. Failures in this last physical barrier preceded the Macondo explosion, fire, and ensuing oil spill. This webinar will discuss analyses contained within the technical appendices that accompanied the CSB report whereby the CSB had access to all three phases of the BOP failure analysis data. Most of the major reports, except Transocean's, were either published before the final third phase was completed or did not have access or address the full set of data. Details that emerged in the third phase of testing are imperative to understand the failure of the BOP to seal the well.

The webinar discussion will include how the incident unfolded, causes, contributing factors, and lessons to be learned. Additional organizational and operational failures were identified by the CSB and included in the main CSB report (http://www.csb.gov/macondo-blowout-and-explosion/), but are not topics addressed in this webinar.

Following are the particular subjects:

• Dynamic flow simulation results and a comparison with real time data (drill pipe pressure, returns flow, hookload)
• Well integrity failure during the initial displacement for the negative pressure test
• Negative pressure test interpretation
• Development of well flow during the final displacement
• BOP actuations by the crew; failure of the annular and sealing by a pipe ram
• Buckling of the drill pipe and effective compression technology
• How off-center buckled pipe prevented the blind shear ram from sealing
• BOP deadman system problems and likely actuation
• Possible impacts of friction from a closed pipe ram
• Blind shear ram shearing capability
• Use of BOP pressure sensors
• BOP accumulator capacity

Stan Christman
• Went to the California Institute of Technology, B.S. Chemical Engineering
• Career with Exxon and ExxonMobil, retired 2003

Work Experience: 

Various drilling and production engineering and management assignments, USA Drilling Technology Manager, USA Operations Technology Manager, and Executive Engineering Advisor
• Post retirement consulting work
• National Science Foundation: Oversight Committee on the upgrade of the scientific deep ocean drill ship, JOIDES Resolution
• U.S. Chemical Safety Board: failure analysis of the Macondo Deepwater Horizon Blowout Preventer

Professional Activities: 

Drilling Engineering Association, SPE, IADC, API • Co-founder of the Drilling Engineering Association (DEA)
• 12 SPE and IADC professional papers on a variety of drilling topics, most dealing with offshore floating drilling.
• SPE: ATCE Production Engineering Program Committee (1985 – 1987), SPE/IADC Drilling Technology Conference Program Committee (1999), ATCE Drilling Technical Committee (1999 – 2001, 2001 Chairman)
• IADC/OOC Deepwater Well Control Task Force: Steering committee member (1998 – 2000)
• IADC: Industry Service Award in 1998; Distinguished Service Award in 2003.
• API: Special Task Group on MODU Structural Inspections (chair); Task Force on EPA Hazardous Waste Regulation Development (RCRA), Specification Task Group on Blowout Preventer Control Systems; Specification Task Group on Drilling Marine Risers

Sponsored by: Drilling and Completions Technical Director


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