The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Spill commission staff unclear about context of failed pressure test

November 08, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Staff at a meeting of the national oil spill commission today seemed perplexed as to why rig workers did not recognize that a key pressure test failed shortly before the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.

“Why would these men not have realized that this was a bad pressure test?” asked Sean Grimsley, a commission staffer. In interviews and research on the circumstances leading to the Macondo well blowout, Grimsley said he was unable to determine what caused the rig workers to misread the results of the test.

“None of the men on this rig want to die,” Grimsely said, adding later, “The question is why did they come to this conclusion.”

Grimsley also said that the federal government had not set up specific procedures for conducting and interpreting such pressure tests. “Nobody in the government set up procedures for conducting or interpreting negative pressure tests,” he said. “Indeed, there were no regulations requiring them at all.”

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