Busted Pipe Blocked BP's Blowout Preventer

New report details devastating mechanical troubles
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2011 10:48 AM CDT
Busted Pipe Blocked Safety Gear in BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
A worker scans for oil leftover from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico March 3, 2011 at Perdido Key State Park in Pensacola, Florida.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The flow of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico could have been stopped—but for a single piece of mangled drilling pipe that got in the way, according to contractors who examined BP's raised blowout preventer. As oil began gushing from the Deepwater Horizon rig in April, a section of drill pipe buckled from the force, blocking the blowout preventer's giant shears from closing the well, the Los Angeles Times notes.

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The next Coast Guard hearing on the spill will address the new information. Meanwhile, after new patches of oil were spotted this weekend along 30 miles of Louisiana coast, a new cleanup began. But that oil wasn’t linked to the BP disaster, says a Coast Guard rep; it resulted from a separate leak that has now been plugged. (Read more BP oil spill stories.)

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