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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Maritime Logistics Professional

Deepwater Horizon Questions

Posted to MarineNews Notes (by on May 7, 2010

A reader wants someone to explain why the Deepwater Horizon sank. Where was the damage control? Were all the compartments open below the waterline at the same time? Since the Deepwater Horizon is a flagged vessel are there not some requirements concerning floatation, de-watering, etc.?

In this U.S. Navy photo, contracted fishing vessels, Mary and Jace and Gulf Rambler, pull an oil boom during a controlled burn in the Gulf of Mexico, May 5. The controlled burn was conducted in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, BP and other federal agencies to aid in preventing the spread of oil following the explosion on the MODU Deepwater Horizon. BP stated on National Public Radio that any volunteers that came out to help in the environmental response would be employed to do so.

The timing of the explosion couldn’t be worse it seems. Just as President Obama opened up new areas for offshore oil and gas exploration, the Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 and sinking to the ocean floor. Grieving families have filed wrongful death lawsuits and the Obama administration ordered a halt to the issuance of all new drilling permits until a safety review is released later in May. 

While the industry faces this pubic relations nightmare, they are also facing some very important questions. What will the investigation into the causes of the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon tell us? How will this incident shape the industry’s and the Coast Guard’s environmental and safety policies and technology? What can we do to be sure this never happens again?

One reader emailed me wanting to find someone who could explain why the Deepwater Horizon sank.  "Where was the damage control?  Were all the compartments open below the waterline at the same time?  Since the Deepwater Horizon is a flagged vessel are there not some requirements concerning floatation, de-watering, etc.?"

Another reader wanted to explore cryogenic technology as a way to stop of flow of oil from the leaking BP well.

Look for additional coverage in the June edition of MarineNews as we seek answers to some of these questions.

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