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Is the Drilling Moratorium Really Long Enough? No, Not Really - Huffington Post

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JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 12:38 PM
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Is the Drilling Moratorium Really Long Enough? No, Not Really - Huffington Post

BY Robert L. Cavnar

Here are the key issues as I see them:

Only 4 of the dozen or so companies drilling in the deepwater would survive an incident of this magnitude and pay for the damages: BP, Shell, Chevron, and Exxon. If this disaster would have happened with any of the other deepwater operators, they would already be bankrupt, the clean-up would be all on the taxpayers, and we would be having a very different conversation than we are currently having. Deepwater is a big boy game, and if we are to continue exploring here, cost, risk, reward, and clean-up responsibilities must all be pooled to assure that fixing a huge mess like this doesn't fall to the taxpayer.

Sea floor safety systems including BOPs and EDSs (blowout preventers and emergency disconnect systems) must be redesigned to contemplate a failure such as this one. Blind shears must be able to cut whatever is run through them, or redundancy designed so that shear rams are always opposite a component they can cut. Second, the kill and choke lines must be accessible by ROV without the presence of a rig. Weeks were lost in this disaster while the kill and choke lines were re-fabricated by ROVs so a kill manifold (also fabricated) could be tied in.

Acoustic communications systems (even though it wouldn't have prevented this blowout) must be installed. This would eliminate possible failures in umbilical systems currently used in the Gulf. Testing of these acoustic systems must assure that there is no negative effect on immediately surrounding sea life if it is used.

Third party witnessed safety systems tests must be immediately enacted. Representatives from the MMS (or its successor agency) must be present for all BOP and safety system tests. These reps could be MMS employees or contractors, but must be independent from the operator/drilling contractor/service companies on the rig. Third parties must certify the condition and the functionality of the BOP stack each time it is pulled and re-run. Current drawings of all sea floor safety systems must be on the rig, and on file with the drilling contractor on the shore.

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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-10 02:14 PM
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1. Well, it would be were it extended to last several centuries.
We don't so much need a moratorium as a mostatorium. ;-)
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