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Three Inspirations of BP Oil Spill to China

Three Inspirations of BP Oil Spill to China



Liu Renhuan / College of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, China University of Petroleum (Huadong)



Revelation 1: Strengthen safety awareness and establish safety mechanism

启示1: 强化安全意识,建立安全机制

At present, including well control technology, oil drilling technology and equipment have developed to a high level, the key is to strictly comply with and operate safely. If the operation is strictly in accordance with the design and normal process flow, the probability of such a large accident would have been very small. It can be said that the huge blowout accident in the Gulf of Mexico is to a large extent a problem of safety production supervision and management, which has a lot to do with the safety awareness and sense of responsibility of the operators. The development of deep water oil and gas fields in my country has just kicked off. In order to avoid major accidents, it is necessary to strengthen safety awareness and establish safety mechanisms.


The first is the attention of the state. Relevant systems and regulations should be established and improved to ensure that the regulatory authorities have laws to abide by and evidence to check. The competent authorities and the local government should strengthen the supervision of oil exploration companies, and key equipment must be regularly inspected to ensure that various safety production measures can be strictly implemented, and to eliminate hidden dangers that can induce sudden pollution disasters.


The second is the attention of the enterprise and the awareness of the employees. Due to the lag of national regulations, oil companies should comprehensively and deeply consider all production links, and effectively implement the concept and measures of safe production into production. It is also necessary to carry out necessary safety training and information, so that employees can always be aware of the non-essential safety, and strictly operate procedures to avoid accidents from the root cause. At the same time, we should vigorously strengthen the implementation of safety production measures, eliminate hidden safety hazards through self-inspection and self-inspection, and strictly prevent the occurrence of sudden oil spill pollution accidents.


Once again, it is necessary to prepare an emergency plan for dealing with pollution accidents and carry out comprehensive drills. Once a pollution accident occurs, relevant units and personnel must cooperate closely, respond in a timely manner, and take measures to quickly control oil spills and polluted areas, eliminate oil pollution as soon as possible, and remove oil spills. The impact of pollution incidents is minimized.


Finally, establish the relevant evaluation system. Comprehensively consider the impact of oil exploitation on marine organisms, marine water bodies, atmosphere, geology and other aspects, improve the environmental impact assessment system and ecological environment risk assessment system for offshore oil and gas development projects, and practicably evaluate the assessment of pollution accidents on the ecological environment.



Enlightenment 2: Increase scientific research efforts to promote technical reserves and equipment development


A major cause of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was a set of 450-ton blowout preventers that failed to activate when they needed to be activated. As the last barrier to prevent oil spills, blowout preventers are installed at the wellhead to close the wellhead after an oil spill occurs. But Deep water Horizon's blowout preventers did not activate properly. And the automatic backup system and BP's use of underwater robots after the fact didn't work either. This equipment, which seems to have multiple security guarantees, is still not perfect. In fact, similar failures have occurred many times.


Since deep-sea technology is a very complex technology with a very wide coverage, currently no country or company can completely monopolize all deep-sea technologies. This requires our country and some oil companies to increase scientific research efforts to promote technical reserves and equipment development.


The first is to strengthen the research on oil drilling and related technologies. Although the country's development plan has invested a lot of money in offshore oil drilling, the overall investment is still not enough, and it is necessary to increase investment in research and development of key technologies and equipment. Due to the huge cost of deep-sea oil drilling, the application of advanced technology and equipment can achieve the goal of safety and economy.


Followed by the rational use of resources, make good technical reserves. There are a large number of scientific research institutes and research institutions in my country, as well as many colleges and universities that carry out scientific research work, improve the project approval system, use resources reasonably and effectively, and carry out a wide range of research work, including some basic research work. Research is combined to promote the generation of new technologies and the improvement of equipment. In addition, the acceptance and assessment of the project should be based on the technical goals, and the scientific research should be continued in depth.


The third is to strengthen cooperation and exchanges, including domestic and international cooperation and exchanges. There are still many domestic project exchanges, but there are relatively few participants. Due to the complexity of deep-sea technology, there are still many difficult problems. If more people participate and carry out extensive cooperation, it can play the role of "stones in other mountains". At present, deep-sea drilling and mining technology is mainly monopolized by developed countries. These countries should assume their own responsibilities, carry out extensive cooperation, and work with other countries to improve deep-sea drilling and mining technology to avoid such a disaster.



Revelation 3: Call for environmental awareness and promote the development of environmental protection industry


The oil spill caused all kinds of creatures in the accident waters to suffer "extinct disaster" and almost destroyed the entire fishing industry and fishermen's livelihood on the southern coast of the United States. And BP will face the danger of huge indemnity and closure. While pursuing economic interests, enterprises must pay attention to environmental protection, and environmental protection technology and environmental protection industry should also be vigorously developed.


First, policies and systems must be in place. Because the environmental industry is usually not-for-profit or remedial, it often makes business operations difficult. This requires policy support from the state. On the one hand, there is policy support for environmental protection enterprises. On the other hand, technical standards for enterprises that may cause pollution are formulated and strictly enforced.


Second, strengthen the research and development of marine environmental protection technology. Marine environmental protection technologies include a wide range of technologies, such as oil spill clean-up technologies, including shoreline and water confinement anti-fouling measures, shoreline and water oil recovery equipment and technologies, and underwater clean-up measures. For tens of thousands of barrels of crude oil spills per day, the oil pollution removal ships have insufficient processing capacity, and the research on efficient oil recovery and pollution removal technology is very necessary to deal with major accidents. In addition, the treatment technology of wastewater and sludge from offshore oil exploitation also needs to be further studied.


The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an ecological disaster. The impact is comprehensive, and reflection should also be comprehensive. This profound lesson has sounded the alarm for us. It can be seen from this incident that if there is no mature technology for protection and lack of awareness of risks and dangers, the losses and harms caused may be irreversible or even fatal. The development and utilization of deep-sea oil and gas resources will continue, and the safety level will also be improved. We should deeply reflect on it to avoid such a disaster from happening again. (Note: Some opinions in this article are taken from the Internet and some expert comments, without citing the source.)



Other Voices:


National Energy Board


One of the preventive measures is to formulate a regular self-inspection and self-inspection mechanism for production facilities and equipment. The well control equipment for drilling, completion and cementing operations needs to be regularly inspected, and the procedures and equipment to prevent blowouts need to be comprehensively evaluated regularly to eliminate hidden dangers and prevent problems before they occur.


The second preventive measure is to study the research and development of deep-water diving equipment, deep-water accident rescue technology, and deep-water accident solutions as major topics, and to communicate and cooperate with the world's leading oil companies to form internationally accepted effective solutions as soon as possible.



Cui Xuezheng Professor, School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, China University of Petroleum (East China)

崔学政 中国石油大学(华东)机电工程学院教授

From this oil spill, it can be seen that the world is eager to exploit deep water oil and gas, but the understanding of its catastrophic accident is not enough. At present, the development of mining technology is fast, but the safety guarantee technology is still lagging behind. Oil production accidents at sea are generally very difficult to deal with. If there is no emergency plan, the estimated oil spill amount is wrong, and once an oil spill occurs, it is difficult to imagine the extent of the disaster. Therefore, the world should first carefully study which links will have accidents, how to deal with them, come up with emergency plans and develop relevant equipment, and then consider mining.


The oil spill also reminds the world that the exploitation of combustible ice must not be carried out blindly, otherwise the disaster will be immeasurable. For our country, it is a serious warning, which should be attached great importance to, and then study relevant measures as soon as possible.



Huang Weiping, Professor, School of Engineering, Ocean University of China

黄维平 中国海洋大学工程学院教授

This accident exposed some deficiencies in engineering equipment: 1. An explosion occurred, indicating that there were loopholes in the explosion-proof measures on the platform. Usually a blowout would cause a fire, but the explosion could be avoided. Therefore, the explosion-proof design of the mechanical and electrical equipment of the drilling platform should be raised to a higher standard. 2. The stability design of the drilling platform should take into account the factors of explosion, and the water surface bulkhead should improve the waterproof standard. 3. The drilling riser shall be provided with a surface blowout preventer.


Deep water oil and gas development in my country should learn the lessons of this accident. While actively developing, we must treat every development project, and even every specific drilling project, with great care. First of all, it is necessary to conduct a rigorous review of the opening plan, and secondly, to strengthen the research on deep-water development equipment, so as to be able to conduct a concrete and substantive review of the capabilities and equipment of foreign contractors.


Oil companies, lessors and operators should fully demonstrate the development plan according to the properties of oil and gas fields (reservoir pressure, temperature, natural gas content and chemical properties of oil and gas, etc.), and take corresponding preventive measures. The government should strengthen the development of deep water oil and gas fields. If necessary, experts organized by the government will demonstrate the development plan before development, put forward regulatory opinions, and have the right to stop the development. At present, the gap between my country and the United States is mainly due to the lack of engineering experience, and it still only stays in theoretical and laboratory research. In the future, it is necessary to conduct research on simulated engineering projects to obtain practical engineering experience to find problems and conduct in-depth and meticulous research to achieve breakthroughs. .



CNPC Offshore Engineering Co., Ltd.


By discussing the accident, the marine engineering company believes that the most fundamental way and method to prevent such incidents is to build a team with strict work style, strict discipline and excellent technology, and establish a set of safety and environmental protection with strict management, in place measures and continuous improvement. Management mechanism and a management system with perfect system, clear process and effective control.



Tu Xuexiang Petroleum Technology Expert

涂学翔 石油技术专家

The world should learn from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, operators should strictly follow the design and normal operation procedures, platform equipment suppliers should update the current relevant key equipment and systems, and equipment manufacturers should design and develop backup systems for related products. , oil companies, lessors, operators and the government should strengthen communication to avoid or eliminate the occurrence of offshore platform safety accidents from the source.


The revelation of the oil spill to China is that, like the country's response to earthquake/tsunami disasters, it is necessary to build and form a complete emergency response system including emergency plans, emergency command centers, emergency information systems and emergency response teams. In solving similar accidents that may occur in the future, China should formulate relevant laws and regulations, build relevant emergency and rescue systems, including equipment and material reserves, strengthen cooperation with the military/local government, and establish a foundation to ensure that the Affected companies and the interests of the public, etc., and improve the ability to respond to serious marine emergencies.



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Safety awareness, safety mechanism, technological process, supervision and management, safety training, potential safety hazards, environmental impact assessment system, ecological environment risk assessment system, technical reserve, deep-sea technology, anti-fouling measures, deep-water accident rescue technology, emergency plan, water surface blowout prevention device, backup system, rescue system.

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Poster发布人:Clark Guo,CCSC Technology,Shanghai,China, 2022.09     Youtube: ClarkOilGas  

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