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blowout preventer

(Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg)

Former Arctic engineering exec to direct Houston deep-water research center

Bill Maddock, an expert in offshore operations and engineering, has been tapped to lead a Houston-based deepwater offshore energy research center established in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
A July 24, 2013 photo by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a natural gas fire aboard the Hercules 265 rig that caused significant damage and forced the evacuation of the crew. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Investigation faults slow response and equipment failure in 2013 blowout of Gulf well

Workers reacted too slowly to stop a Gulf of Mexico well blowout that forced the evacuation of 44 people and ignited a fire that raged for two days in 2013, according to a federal investigation.
At the GE Oil & Gas  manufacturing site in North Houston on June 30, 2014, an annular blowout preventer, designed to seal the area around a drill pipe, sits atop a blowout preventer stack that also includes ram blowout preventers designed to drive blades through the pipe itself.  (Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle)

GE shows off drone footage of Houston BOP factory

The company kicked off the campaign in Houston, at its factory near George Bush Intercontinental Airport where it manufacturers blowout preventers, the three-story tall pieces of equipment that act as the final barrier to ruptured offshore oil wells.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

New offshore safety rules would make drilling some wells too difficult, industry lobbyists tell White House

More than a dozen oil companies and drilling contractors joined leading industry trade groups in pushing back against proposed federal mandates for offshore wells they say would make some impossible to drill. The proposed requirements were spurred by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The Polar Pioneer, a drilling rig contracted by Shell for Chukchi Sea exploration in 2015, is transported across the Pacific on the heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin. (Photo: Vincenzo Floramo / Greenpeace)

No “showstoppers” yet for Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

An emergency containment system was being tested in waters near Washington state on Tuesday, while those drilling permit reviews are under way.
Cameron’s Mark IV High-Availability BOP Control System is the only blowout prevention system that features three points-of-distribution, or PODs, which significantly lessens the chance of delays in drilling in the event of a POD failure. 

Credit Cameron

Cameron says its Mark IV blowout preventer is “future-proofed”

Work on the Mark IV HA began three years ago with six months of research, followed by two-and-a-half years of engineering.
In June, GE tested this prototype 20,000 psi ram blowout preventer at its Houston Technology Center. The 20ksi program also includes new wellheads, connectors, control systems, and riser systems. (GE Oil & Gas)

Feds unveil plan for keeping offshore oil wells in check five years after Gulf spill

The measure codifies many of the steps that companies have already taken to better keep offshore wells in check, including more rigorous maintenance and testing of the blowout preventers that act as a last line of defense against uncontrolled surges of oil and gas.
The Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer is lifted onto the deck of the Helix Q4000 in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana in September 2010. (AP file photo/Patrick Semansky)

Five years after Gulf disaster, feds ready new well control and blowout preventer mandates

The Obama administration is poised to lay out new requirements for controlling offshore wells, nearly five years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill vividly illustrated the damage that can be unleashed when they are not kept in check.
(AP file photo/Patrick Semansky)

Houston man accused of lying about blowout preventer tests

If convicted on two counts of making false statements to federal agencies, he could get up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
In June, GE tested this prototype 20,000 psi ram blowout preventer at its Houston Technology Center. The 20ksi program also includes new wellheads, connectors, control systems, and riser systems. (GE Oil & Gas)

Blowout preventer rule gets White House vetting

Federal regulators are advancing rules meant to boost the reliability of blowout preventers used to safeguard offshore wells.