November Technical Meeting

Monday November 5, 2012

Technical Chair:

5:45 Social/Networking Time
6:30 Dinner
7:30 Presentation: Forensic Investigation of the Deepwater Horizon Blowout Preventer
Technical Chair: Mark Sherman

Abstract—On the evening of April 20, 2010, while drilling at the Macondo Prospect, control of the well was lost, allowing hydrocarbons to enter the drilling riser and reach the Deepwater Horizon, resulting in explosions and subsequent fires. The fires continued to burn for approximately 36 hours. The rig sank on April 22, 2010. From shortly before the explosions until May 20, 2010, when all ROV intervention ceased, several efforts were made to seal the well. The well was permanently plugged with cement and “killed” on September 19, 2010. The Deepwater Horizon disaster resulted in the death of 11 and the largest offshore oil spill in US history.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of the Departments of the Interior (DOI) and Homeland Security (DHS) was charged with investigating the explosion, loss of life, and blowout associated with the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig failure. As a part of this overall investigation, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) was retained to undertake a forensic evaluation of the blowout preventer stack (BOP), its components and associated equipment used by the Deepwater Horizon drilling operation.

In the event of a loss of well control, various components of the BOP Stack are functioned in an attempt to seal the well and contain the blowout. The most important of these components are the blind shear rams. This presentation will describe the investigative process and results that solved the puzzle of the failure of the blind shear ram to successfully cut the drill pipe and seal the well.

The presentation team come from DNV’s Materials and Corrosion Technology Center (MCTC) located in Dublin, OH. All worked on the forensic investigation of the blowout preventer recovered from the Deep Water Horizon drilling rig failure. Brandon C. Rollins, P.E., member of the ASM Failure Analysis Committee since 2009. Past Chair and Vice-Chair of ASM Columbus Chapter. Technical reviewer for Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention. Neil G. Thompson, Ph.D., founder of CC Technologies, Inc. in 1985, which was acquired by DNV in 2005. Past President and Treasurer of NACE. Current President of NACE International Foundation.  Directed thirty-two major research projects and numerous field studies and testing projects examining various aspects of corrosion science, corrosion monitoring and cathodic protection. Co-authored the Congressionally funded study “Corrosion Cost and Preventive Strategies in the United States”. Shane R. Finneran,responsible for the 3D laser scanning of recovered evidence, digital reconstruction, and finite element simulations to analyze the failure scenarios developed throughout the forensic investigation. Barbara N. Padgett, Ph.D., works in the Forensic Investigation Section and served as Team Lead for the forensic investigation of the blowout preventer recovered from the Deep Water Horizon drilling rig failure.


Meeting Location:

Crowne Plaza-Independence
5300 Rockside Road
(216) 524-0700


Please register using the form-link below through noon on November 1st.

You may pay online using PayPal or pay at the door. The PayPal and pay-at-door costs are the same as long as you pre-register. Non-registered walk-ins will be accommodated at the higher cost on a space-available basis. Registration questions can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registration costs are:

Members & Guests:

  • $25 Pre-registered
  • $30 walk-in/not registered

Retired members:

  • $15 Pre-registered
  • $20 walk-in/not registered

Students pay $10

Members Pre-Registered for this Meeting