Sunday, May 2, 2010

Department of Interior Agency Said No to Backup Safety Valve, in 2003

Safety Backup Device Was Recommended...

Highlights of this article in the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. regulators have considered mandating the use of remote-control acoustic switches or other back-up equipment at least since 2000.

The industry argued against the acoustic systems.

By 2003, U.S. regulators decided remote-controlled safeguards needed more study. A report commissioned by the Minerals Management Service said "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly."

An acoustic trigger costs about $500,000, industry officials said. The Deepwater Horizon had a replacement cost of about $560 million, and BP says it is spending $6 million a day to battle the oil spill.

The Brazilian government began urging the use of the remote-control equipment in 2007, after an extensive overhaul of its safety rules following a fire aboard an oil platform killed 11 people, said Raphael Moura, head of safety division at Brazil's National Petroleum Agency. "Our concern is both safety and the environment," he said.

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