Posted: November 8th, 2022

Case Study 1: Part 1 Gulf Oil Spill

Reminder: If you have not done so already, please view the Case Study Directions section in the Assignment Instructional Page.

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Review the following resources:

  • DH Interim Report Final (PDF – National Academies) (Links to an external site.)
  • The Oilfield Glossary (Links to an external site.)
  • Final Report on the Investigation of the Macondo Well Blowout (ERAU Hunt Library) (Links to an external site.)
  • BP Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report (28:55 – YouTube) (Links to an external site.)

In the readings and videos for this module week, it was noted that there were numerous operations, tests, or equipment functions that went wrong in the last 32 hours before the explosion. Let’s go back in time and consider that you are the safety professional for all Transocean rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. It has been two months since the disaster and you have just been informed that these things are what caused the blowout that lead to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. Use your knowledge to construct a Preliminary Hazard List (PHL) for the items that you feel can lead to these issues reoccurring. The video entitled, “BP Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report” will help to increase your knowledge on how the drilling operation works. Tell your boss (for the purposes of all the case studies in this class your boss is your Instructor) in a one to two page document what the hazards associated with this drilling operation are. This report should include an actual PHL and a short narrative talking about the items in the PHL.

In the next module, you will use this PHL to construct a Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA), so be sure to get a thorough foundation here. There are no right or wrong answers to this as it is the perception of the safety person/team doing the analysis. If you feel you need to research this accident further, you are free to use any credible sources to get a better feel for what happened. Just remember, if you use something other than the sources above, be sure to give proper credit in your report.

Note: A good example of the PHL can be found on page 120-123 of the Ericson Text (Table 7.2 and 7.3). Another good example can be found on page 88 in the Vincoli text, Basic Guide to System Safety (Links to an external site.) (Hunt Library).

Please note, the Vincoli text is available through the Hunt Library. You will need your ERNIE credentials to access the book. 

Your Instructor will evaluate your PHL based on the Case Study Rubric.

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