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Posted by John B. Slocomb on June 5, 2010, 1:39 am



It doesn't seem to have gotten much mention but the US does have an
organization that regulates and controls oil drilling. Called the
Mineral Management Service you can goggle it at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minerals_Management_Service  among other
The section titled "Role in 2010 BP oil spill" is quite enlightening,
considering the presidents publicity campaign.

I worked in the business for quite a few years and you need to
remember that anything in and on the well is a certified device that
meets some standard, whether government or certifying society. Thus
casing, well head devices whether christmas tree or BOP all must be
made to the same standards and there are relatively few companies in
the business so prices are much the same no matter which make is

The US government MMS (Mineral Management Service) also approves the
individual items that go into the well. The whole business, in the
U.S. is highly regimented and controlled by the MMS. Well schedules
approved, surprise inspection visits conducted, inspection of both rig
equipment and materials used in the well.

John B. Slocomb

Posted by (PeteCresswell) on June 6, 2010, 1:04 pm

Per John B. Slocomb:

But, looking at it from the outside and knowing nothing, one has
to wonder what the connections are between the MMS and the
industry.  i.e. who is in who's pocket and, when standards are
written, who has the most influence over their content.

Posted by Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds on June 6, 2010, 7:38 pm

Especially when it seems that some personnel at MMS received "goodies" from the
very industry they were "regulating.

Posted by Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds on June 6, 2010, 7:41 pm

That's all fine and dandy, but when your boss says "do it this way", you do it
that way or lose your job. And you know that they must pay handsome bonuses for
"productivity". There is enough talk from some of the survivors and even from
friends/relatives of the deceased to suggest that corners were cut.

I believe that when they brought up the control unit for the BOP that it's
battery was dead.

Posted by John B. slocomb on June 7, 2010, 8:20 am

On Sun, 06 Jun 2010 11:41:59 -0800, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds"

I don't know about the dead battery but I did email a mate who is a
Drilling superintendent on a rig off the coast of Vietnam. On the rig
at the moment.

He tells me that the U.S. government agency the MMS monitors
everything that is done on a rig drilling in the US. and the standard
practice for BOP's is to test to above rated pressure at installation
and then every other week to above the pressures anticipated in
whatever stage in the drilling program that is being  worked at the
moment. He tells me that these tests are documented and recorded and
that MMS inspects the records and witnesses them.

I've never heard of any bonus paid to the drilling crew for drilling
faster, in fact the opposite - you might get the axe for drilling too
slow. All rigs have instruments to record the parameters that effect
penetration, weight on the bit, rate of penetration, RPM, etc., and
that is one of the first things that the superintendent looks at every
day when he makes out his morning  report so if you aren't doing your
job your presence is no longer required. And, today nearly all
drilling is controlled by a computer, the days of sitting there on the
brake all day is lone gone.

I've only heard one survivor report. the roust-a-bout that was so
worried about not getting psychiatric care because he couldn't sleep
and he was just a laborer, worked on rigs for two years, and he was
asleep when it happened.

Even the reports that the BP spokesman makes are simplified for the
public and sometimes hard to understand quite what was going on from
his description.

Another thing that might bear mentioning is that there really aren't
that many top drilling people in the business and they all talk to
each other. My mate tells me that he is getting so many e-mails that
all tell a different story that he now doesn't believe any of them.

There is no way of knowing what actually happened and the sequence of
steps that preceded it as all the people actually doing it, the floor
crew, died in the explosion. So everything you hear is second hand.
They know the condition of things today, oil coming out the riser -
BOP not closed, but not why they didn't close and until they get the
well killed and cut the BOP off and examine it they will never know.


John B.

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