Casey Presses BP on Report that Blowout Preventer Modified in China to Cut Costs

WASHINGTON, DC— At a hearing today of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) questioned BP on a recent report that BP sent the blowout preventer on the Deepwater Horizon to China for repair to save costs.  The witness, Dr. Steven Flynn BP’s Vice President of Health Safety Security & Environment, did not provide a substantive answer.  Senator Casey will further press BP in a letter requesting specific answers

“A recent news article stated that the blowout preventer on the Deepwater Horizon rig was overhauled in China rather than in the U.S.,” said Senator Casey.   “We all now know that a blowout preventer is the last line of defense against an out of control well.  We need to know from BP if they did indeed send the blow-out preventer to China for modifications, the extent of the modifications and whether the reason for outsourcing the repairs were to save costs.  The people who live on the Gulf coast and the economy are paying a great cost and deserve answers.”

A Sunday story in The Observer stated that: “BP ordered the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, whose explosion led to the worst environmental disaster in US history, to overhaul a crucial piece of the rig's safety equipment in China.”  The article went on to say that: “Experts say that the practice of having such engineering work carried out in China, rather than the US, saves money and is common in the industry.”

In response to Senator Casey’s questioning, BP’s Dr. Steven Flynn said he did not have information related to the reported 2005 work to modify the blowout preventer in China.  Senator Casey is drafting a letter to BP to demand answers.

The full article is available HERE.