News Column

BP Oil Spill Safety Device Still Poses Risk

June 5, 2014

Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer

BP's Deepwater Horizon rig burning in the Gulf of Mexico (AP)
BP's Deepwater Horizon rig burning in the Gulf of Mexico (AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) A federal investigative board concludes that the last-ditch safety device that didn't stop the 2010 BP oil spill had multiple failures, wasn't tested properly and still poses a risk for many rigs drilling today.

The report issued Thursday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board zeroes in on what went wrong with the blowout preventer and blames bad management and operations. And that, they said, led to the dumping of 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Investigators have long known that the device failed. But safety board managing director Daniel Horowitz says the problems were worse than officials had figured and are potentially still a problem for some active rigs now.

The massive blowout preventers use multiple mechanisms to choke off the oil flow.



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