Process Safety Indicators – Findings from Deepwater Horizon

South Texas Section February 2013 Meeting
Originally delivered Feb 7, 2013

On April 20, 2010, explosions and fire engulfed the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig resulting in the subsequent sinking of the rig, the deaths of 11 individuals, and one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. The incident occurred during well abandonment activities at the site of the BP Macondo oil well, approximately 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. The CSB has identified a number of deficiencies in the safety management systems that were utilized by BP and Transocean at the time of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Lessons learned through investigation of these deficiencies have direct application to the downstream refining and chemicals industries. The incident at Macondo provides a lens that we can use to focus our understanding of these indicators of process safety.

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