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October 17, 2011

Seven Practices that Contrubuted to the BP Disaster - Are Any Yours?

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The final report on the BP oil Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico identifies seven company practices that contributed to the incident. Technical reasons for the explosion include problems with cement barriers, production casing and lock-down sleeves.

But the report also cites seven company practices that contributed to the explosion. And they're mistakes that could be made by any company, not just an oil giant:
  1. Failure to stop work after encountering multiple hazards and warnings
  2. Failure to fully assess the risks associated with operational decisions
  3. Making cost- or time-saving decisions without considering contingencies and mitigation
  4. Failure to ensure all risks associated with operations were as low as reasonably practicable
  5. Failure to have full supervision and accountability over activities
  6. Failure to document, evaluate, approve and communicate changes associated with personnel and operations
  7. Failure to ensure a common integrated approach to well control

The report from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) says the explosion that killed 11 workers and sent almost five million barrels of oil into the Gulf resulted from "poor risk management, last-minute changes to plans, failure to observe and respond to critical indicators, inadequate well control response, and insufficient emergency bridge response training by the companies responsible."

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