Sharing lessons learned
BP is committed to sharing what we have learned to advance the capabilities and practices that enhance safety in our company and the deepwater industry
Since the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, we have been determined to share the lessons to help prevent an accident of this magnitude happening again and to help advance global oil spill response capabilities. Our experience has been built across the key capability areas of prevention and drilling safety, well capping and containment, relief wells, spill response, and crisis management.
Working with industry groups
BP continues to work as a member of global and regional industry organizations to further develop prevention, intervention and response capabilities. These industry projects include:
- The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers' Well Expert Committee - This group is focused on preventing well control incidents through better capabilities in well engineering design and well operations management. A database of well control incidents is being developed, along with recommendations for international standards.
- The Subsea Well Response Project - BP is one of nine international operating companies that are active members of this project, which is working with Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) to create an international system of intervention equipment including four capping stack toolboxes and two kits for subsea application of dispersant at a wellhead.
- Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) - We transferred equipment and expertise developed during the response to this group to help the industry meet regulatory requirements for drilling in the Gulf. The MWCC is developing an expanded containment system with new well capping equipment.
- The Joint Industry Project on Oil Spill Response - This project has 19 subcommittees which are led by the global oil and gas association for environmental and social issues, IPIECA, and OGP. They are focused on effective and fit-for-purpose oil spill response preparedness and capability.
- Joint industry taskforces - BP continues to work with others in the industry to update industry standards. Some of this work was initiated in the US in 2010 by joint industry taskforces made up of members of the American Petroleum Institute (API), International Association of Drilling Contractors, Independent Producers Association of America, National Ocean Industries Association and the US Oil & Gas Association.
- Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group - On behalf of this group, BP managed the development of a well cap that can be used in the North Sea and is available to industry through OSRL.
- Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association - BP and other member companies are working to establish an industry-wide well-capping 'first response' solution in Australia.
Safeguarding technology for others to use
BP has filed patent applications in the US and elsewhere to cover about 30 technical innovations related to well capping and containment work conducted during the response to the Deepwater Horizon accident.
We have developed a programme to provide royalty-free licences to these patented technology innovations. In this sharing arrangement other parties will have royalty-free access to BP’s patents and in exchange will provide reciprocal licences to BP and other participants to use their patented improvements to the BP technology. Applications for the patents remain pending.
We are also starting to implement a technology licence agreement with PEMEX for BP to share technical information we used to build BP’s global deepwater well-capping equipment with the national oil company of Mexico as it considers building and maintaining its own system.
Map of where we are sharing lessons learned
Presentations and workshops
We have been presenting at industry and regulator conferences around the globe to share knowledge on the lessons and the technology we have developed. We have conducted more than 200 briefings and presentations with participants from industry, government and other groups in the past two years in almost 30 countries.
We shared our experience of simultaneous marine operations and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) from the Deepwater Horizon response at a workshop in Houston in May 2012. BP personnel who managed large scale, complex marine and ROV operations at the well site during the Deepwater Horizon response shared their experiences with participants.
We have given tours and briefings of our global deepwater well-capping and tooling package to industry groups and international regulators, and published briefing papers and videos to raise awareness of our experience and oil spill response.
Center for Offshore Safety
In response to the Deepwater Horizon incident, the API established the Center for Offshore Safety in March 2011 with a mission to promote the highest level of safety in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. BP participated in the API task group that established the center and BP’s regional president is a member of the center’s board. Two additional employees work exclusively with the center to support its activities.
Brad Smolen, Director, Gulf of Mexico Center for Offshore Safety, BP
"In 2012, BP's Gulf of Mexico regional president continued to lead and provide resources to support activities at the Center for Offshore Safety to drive industry safety performance improvement. The focus has been the implementation of safety and environmental management systems, in particular independent third-party auditing, safety performance indicators, sharing lessons from incidents and leadership site engagement."
The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2012 sustainability reporting. View the full assurance statement.