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No deep well valve, exceeding drilling depth permits?

Crime & Safety, Wildlife, Health & Medical, Levees & Recovery, Outdoors & Recreation

May 4th, 2010

The always-intrepid Sophmom links to an interview at Rick’s blog that contains some significant allegations which should be verified:

I interviewed [attorney] Mike Papantonio and Bobby Kennedy, Jr. about this disaster.

Kennedy said that their team discovered last night that the BP well not only didn’t have the acoustical, emergency valve that could have shut it off, but was also lacking a deep-hole valve that would have also been able to stop the leaking of 5,000 barrels a day into the Gulf of Mexico.

“The acoustical valve is a device required all over the world,” says Papantonio. “In Norway, you can’t drill in the ocean without one.”

The acoustical valve allows operators to remotely shut off the flow of oil from the well. Senator Bill Nelson told locals at press conference in Pensacola on Friday, April 30 that he was calling for a U.S. Senate probe to find out why regulations were relaxed to allow BP to not install the acoustical valve.

Papantonio also said that the Deep Horizon well was only permitted to be 18,000-ft. deep, but BP was drilling the well to 25,000-ft.

“This screwed up all the permutations on how to deal with this problem,” says Papantonio. “The engineers were thinking the well was only at 18,000 ft.”

Papantonio explained that a deep-hole valve is one valve that is installed 200 feet under the sandy bottom.

When asked why BP wouldn’t install a deep-hole valve, Papantonio says, “Because the deep-hole valve when deployed could cause BP to lose the well site and redrill. They were cutting cost to save money.”

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Tags: oilspill, louisiana gulf coast, oil disaster

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