Both *Relief Well* Blowout Preventers FAIL; Shear ram would not close, other testing problems

Friday, July 16, 2010
By Paul Martin

FloridaOilSpillLaw.com
July 16th, 2010

BP relief well blowout preventers needed fixes-Salazar, Reuters, July 13, 2010:

Tests found problems with relief well blowout preventer

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a memorandum that problems were identified “in recent weeks” with blowout preventers on BP Plc’s relief wells…

In a 29-page memo to Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) dated Monday, Salazar said “performance problems” with the blowout preventers were found…

Salazar said in the memo that the discovery provided “more evidence that prior testing requirements were inadequate.” …

Transocean spokesman Guy Cantwell said in an email that the issues with the blowout preventers for the relief wells were now resolved. …

[Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly MMS) spokesman Nicholas] Pardi said the first round of tests on the blowout preventers showed leaking or failed valves, a shuttle valve that shouldn’t have been installed that caused another test failure and a broken connection that stopped a casing shear ram from closing. Such rams cut through and seal pipes in wells to prevent blowouts.

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