Skip to Main Content

An independent federal agency investigating chemical accidents to protect workers, the public, and the environment.

Text Size AA
PRINT PAGE
Macondo Blowout and Explosion
FINAL REPORT: Macondo Investigation Report Volume 1
FINAL REPORT: Macondo Investigation Report Volume 2
Accident Occurred On: 04/20/2010
Final Report Released On: 04/20/2016
Accident Type: Oil and Refining - Fire and Explosion

statistics

Total # of Recommendations
16
Total # of Open Recommendations
16
Total # of Closed Recommendations
0
Total % of Open 100 vs. Closed 0

investigation information

Image
Accident Description
On April 20, 2010, a sudden explosion and fire occurred on the oil rig. The accident resulted in the deaths of 11 workers and caused a massive, ongoing oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was located approximately 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana, and had a 126-member crew onboard.
Investigation Status
The CSB's investigation was unanimously approved by the board.


 

Recommendations

American Petroleum Institute (API)
2010-10-I-OS-3

Publish an offshore exploration and production safety standard for the identification and effective management of safety critical elements (SCEs)— technical, operational, and organizational— with the goal of reducing major accident risk to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP), including but not limited to:
a. development and implementation of a SCE management system that includes the minimum necessary “shall” requirements in the standard to establish and maintain effective safety barriers to prevent major accidents;
b. methodologies for (1) the identification of SCEs and (2) the development of performance standards of each SCE, including its functionality, availability, reliability, survivability, and interactions with other systems;
c. establishment of assurance schemes for continuous active monitoring of all identified SCEs throughout each SCE’s lifecycle;
d. fulfillment of independent verification requirements and use of those verification activities to demonstrate robustness of the SCE management process;
e. development of process safety key performance indicators pertaining to the effective management of SCEs to drive continuous improvement.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-4

Revise Blowout Preventer Equipment System for Drilling Wells (API Standard-53, 4th edition) to establish additional testing or monitoring requirements that verify the reliability of those individual redundant blowout prevention systems that are separate from the integrated system tests currently recommended.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-5

Based on the analysis presented in the CSB Macondo investigation report, Volumes 3 and 4, and the requirements listed in R10, revise Recommended Practice 75, Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities, 3rd ed., May 2004 (reaffirmed May 2008), to require a specific focus on major accident prevention and address the following issues:
a.    Incorporate the following listed safety management system issues as explicit program elements and include language throughout API 75 regarding each element’s explicit and defined applicability to all of the other existing program elements:
1.    Human factors program requirements for the design, planning, execution, management, assessment, and decommissioning of well operations for the prevention of major accidents, as well as in the investigation of accidents and near-misses;
2.    Corporate governance and Board of Director responsibilities for major accident risk management;
3.    Workforce involvement and engagement in all aspects of the SEMS program;
4.    Contractor oversight and effective coordination for major accident prevention; and
5.    Leading and lagging key performance indicators that drive major accident prevention.
b.    Define and expand the roles and responsibilities for major accident prevention among the primary parties engaged in offshore drilling and production (i.e., the leaseholder/operator and owner/drilling contractor) by expanding applicability of this standard to the parties with primary control over major hazard operations and day-to-day activities and thus best positioned to implement and oversee a safety and environmental management system (SEMS) program to control major accident hazards.
c.    Incorporate into the Principles section of the document, as well as within the Setting Objectives and Goals section, as overarching provisions for the overall successful implementation and execution of a SEMS program:
1.    Management of major accident risk to As Low As Reasonably Practicable or similar risk-reduction target;
2.    Use the hierarchy of controls for identifying, establishing, and implementing barriers meant to prevent or mitigate major accident hazards.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
2010-10-I-OS-1

Augment 30 C.F.R §250 Subpart S to require the responsible parties, including the lessee, operator, and drilling contractor, to effectively manage all safety critical elements (SCEs)— technical, operational, and organizational—thereby ensuring their effective operation and reducing major accident risk to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).  At a minimum, require the following improvements:

a. Written identification of all safety critical elements for offshore operations through hazard analysis. This list will be made available for audits and inspections performed by the responsible parties, external entities (e.g., independent competent parties, third-party auditors), and the regulator, and it will be shared among the lessee, operator, and drilling contractor. Identifying all safety critical elements shall ensure the establishment and maintenance of effective safety barriers to prevent major accidents;

b. Documented performance standards (as defined in Section 5.2 of the CSB Macondo Investigation Report Volume 2) describing the required performance of each SCE, including its functionality, availability, reliability, survivability, and interactions with other systems;

c. Augmentation of 30 C.F.R §250.1916 to include requirements for all responsible parties, including contractors, to conduct monitoring for continuous active assurance of all identified SCEs through each SCE’s lifecycle (as described in Section 5.0 of the CSB Macondo Investigation Report Volume 2);

d. Documented independent verification scheme for the identified SCEs reported to and subject to review by the regulator (as described in Section 5.5 of the CSB Macondo Investigation Report Volume 2), where:

1. the independent party meets BSEE criteria that guarantees its competence and independence from the company or facility for which it is providing verification;
2. the independent verification occurs prior to commencement of the offshore drilling or production activity and periodically, as defined by BSEE;
3. all resulting assessments of the independent verification activities will be tracked in a formal records management system; and
4. corrective action shall be taken to address negative verification findings and non-compliance. Verified noncompliance shall be tracked by the responsible party as a process safety key performance indicator and be used to drive continuous improvement.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-2

Publish safety guidance to assist the responsible parties in fulfillment of regulatory obligations stipulated in R1 for the identification and effective management of safety critical elements (SCEs)—technical, operational, and organizational— with the goal of reducing major accident risk to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP), including but not limited to each of the identified minimum requirements (See R1, items a-d).

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

Ocean Energy Safety Institute
2010-10-I-OS-10

Conduct further study on riser gas unloading scenarios, testing, and modeling and publish a white paper containing technical guidance that communicates findings and makes recommendations for industry safety improvements.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

Sustainability Acconting Standards Board
2010-10-I-OS-9

Update, strengthen, and finalize the SASB’s provisional Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Sustainability Accounting Standard by enhancing standard NR0101-18. Expand recommended coverage of “Process Safety Event rates for Loss of Primary Containment of greater consequences” in accordance with the findings of this report. Specifically, this expanded coverage shall:
a.    Recommend the disclosure of additional leading and lagging indicators and emphasize the greater preventive value of disclosure of a company’s use of leading indicators to actively monitor the health and performance of major accident safety barriers and the management systems for ensuring their effectiveness. Specifically add:
1.    Indicators addressing the health of safety barriers to be communicated to the workforce, and to shareholders in required SEC disclosures, and also to be made readily available to the regulator.  
2.    Guidance emphasizing and promoting the concept that personal safety metrics such as those captured in NR0101-17 (total recordable injury rate, fatality rate, near-miss frequency rate) are important but separate from leading and lagging process safety performance indicators, which better correlate to major accident prevention.
•    Accomplish this communication within NR0101-18.
•    Supplement this effort within the SASB’s Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Research Briefs, based on the findings of this report as well other current safety scholarship that demonstrates the lack of correlation between personal safety efforts and process safety and major accident prevention initiatives.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

U.S. Department of the Interior
2010-10-I-OS-6

Drawing upon best available global standards and practices, develop guidance to assist industry in the incorporation of human factors principles into the systematic analysis of their major accident hazards, development of their SEMS programs, and in the preparation of their major hazards report documentation. This standard shall provide guidance on topics including, but not limited to, safety critical task assessment and the development and verification of non-technical skills. Include the participation of diverse expertise in the development of the standard including industry, workforce, and subject matter expert representatives.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-7

Drawing upon best available global standards and practices, develop guidance addressing the roles and responsibilities of corporate board of directors and executives for effective major accident prevention. Among other topics, this standard shall provide specific guidance on how boards and executives could best communicate major accident safety risks to their stakeholders, as well as corporate level strategies to effectively manage those risks.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-8

Expand upon the principles of the BSEE Safety Culture policy and establish a process safety culture improvement program for responsible parties as defined in R11(a) that periodically administers process safety culture assessments and implements identified major accident prevention improvements. The process safety culture improvement program shall include a focus on items that measure, at a minimum, willingness to report incidents and near-misses, effectiveness of workforce participation efforts, organizational drift from safety policies and procedures, and management involvement and commitment to process safety.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-11

Revise and augment the offshore safety regulations, including the SEMS Rule (C.F.R. 250 subpart S), and issue guidance as it relates to those revisions/augmentations, to:
a.    Establish clear and consistent safety and environmental management responsibilities to prevent major accidents for the companies having primary control over the hazardous activities being undertaken (e.g., the owner/drilling contractor for a non-production installation and the leaseholder/operator for the production installation);
b.    Require all responsible parties as defined in R11(a) to develop documentation for each hazardous operation/facility it maintains primary control over, where the documentation demonstrates the party’s systematic analysis that risks posed by all identifiable major accident hazards are reduced to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) or similar risk-reduction target. The documentation shall include:
1.    Identification of major hazards and the barriers and safety management systems controls (including augmented SEMS elements) that will be used to reduce risk to ALARP or similar risk reduction target;
2.    Use of the hierarchy of controls to the greatest extent feasible in establishing safety barriers and controls;
3.    Identification of safety critical elements and tasks to establish and maintain safety barriers and controls, in fulfillment of R1 (See Volume 2);
4.    Demonstrate use of established qualitative, quantitative and semi-quantitative methods in determining (1) the barriers and safety management systems necessary to achieve ALARP risk reduction levels and (2) the performance requirements of those barriers and controls (e.g., reliability, functionality, and availability) to ensure their effectiveness;
5.    Identification of all US and international standards that have been applied, or will be applied, in relation to the facility, hazardous operation, or equipment used on/in connection with the operation for which required documentation is submitted. Should the responsible party wish to use standards other than well-recognized US or international consensus safety standards developed by a representative committee of diverse stakeholders, a detailed technical justification that those standards achieve risk-reduction to ALARP must accompany submitted documentation. The regulator may challenge or reject the technical justification. Remove from the US offshore safety regulatory scheme the provisions that allow companies to substitute requirements to use the best available and safest technology with a showing of compliance with BSEE regulations.
c.    Require responsible parties as defined by R12(a) to fully implement all aspects of the documentation stipulated in R12(b) and establish a documented process to verify that all methods to manage, reduce, and control those hazards are effectively maintained throughout the lifecycle of the operation/facility.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-12

Augment the capabilities and functioning of BSEE to incorporate the following proactive oversight mechanisms:
a.    Review of the documentation required to be submitted under CSB 2010-I-OS-R11(b) by technically qualified regulatory personnel who have the capability and authority to require modifications and improvements to the major hazards report as necessary, either before an acceptance process and commencement of the major hazards operation(s) or during periodic proactive review by the regulator;
b.    Establish a program for preventive, comprehensive inspections and audits with technically qualified staff as described in R13(a) to ensure that the responsible party as defined in R5(a) can demonstrate the risk reduction commitments stipulated in its major hazards report.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-13

Further enhance the qualifications, professional competency, and diversity of BSEE staff to implement major accident prevention programs by:
a.    Continuing efforts to enhance recruiting and retention of sufficient staff with a diversity of expertise, professional backgrounds and skill sets, such that BSEE has staff competencies in a variety of safety-critical and technical areas, including petroleum, chemical, and mechanical engineering; human and organizational factors; well design and control; and process safety, as well as those with industry experience to perform an even more expanded mission as envisioned in this report;  
b.    Retaining the services of a human resources consulting firm to complement BSEE’s efforts to date on human capital management and workforce planning issues, in light of documented difficulties in recruiting and retaining necessary staff, including the development of a plan with respect to large numbers of retirements facing the agency in the coming decade, as well as a compensation analysis (and a plan for subsequent periodic market analyses and benchmarking) to ensure BSEE remains competitive with other employers in the offshore industry. Augment the agency’s compensation system as necessary to enable BSEE to attract and retain the level of staffing needed to perform BSEE’s mission.
c.    Continuing to assess, expand, and improve ongoing BSEE training programs for new hires to provide all employees with robust skill sets, including appropriate technical training as well as interpersonal skills such as communications, negotiation and advocacy.

If funding, legislative authority, or other approvals are required to implement the recommended regulatory provisions in Recommendation R11 – R13, the Secretary of the Interior shall seek such authority from Congress or expedited hiring authority from the Office of Personnel Management.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-14

Expand the offshore safety regulatory program that collects, tracks, and analyzes safety performance indicators from industry to further influence industry efforts in reducing major accident risks to ALARP. At a minimum, this program shall:
a.    Require the reporting of safety indicator data by all responsible parties, as defined in R11(a);
b.    Emphasize the greater preventive value of using leading indicators to actively monitor the health and performance of major accident safety barriers and the management systems meant to ensure their effectiveness, and work with industry to develop leading indicators that are measurable, actionable, normalized across industry, and that occur with sufficient frequency to allow for meaningful trending and analysis at the facility and corporate levels;
c.    Augment current reporting requirements to include leading safety performance indicators;
d.    Use the safety performance indicator data to:
1.    identify industrywide, companywide, and facility-specific safety trends and deficiencies;
2.    set annual process safety goals or targets for the industry, company and/or facility, as appropriate, based upon those identified safety trends and deficiencies;
3.    issue, at a minimum, annual reports that publicly communicate those trends, deficiencies, targets, and goals; and
4.    determine future appropriate allocations of BSEE resources and the prioritization of BSEE inspections;
e.    Include use of significant lagging indicators data (including those already mandated by 30 C.F.R. 250.188(a) and (b), such as major events like explosions, fires, gas releases, fatalities, INCs) as qualification criteria in the lease-approval and permit-to-drill decision-making processes by the regulator.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-15

Issue participation regulations and training requirements for workers and their representatives that include the following:
a.    Worker-elected safety representatives and safety committees for each staffed offshore facility chosen under procedures overseen by the regulator; these safety representatives will have the authority to interact with employers (such as operators and drillers) and regulators on issues of worker health and safety risks and the development and implementation of the major hazard report documentation;
b.    The elected worker representative has the right to issue an enforceable stop-work order if an operation or task is perceived as unsafe; all efforts should be made to resolve the issue at the workplace level, but if the issue remains unresolved, BSEE shall establish mechanisms such that the worker representative has the right and ability to seek regulator intervention to resolve the issue, and the regulator must respond in a timely fashion;
c.    The regulator will host an annual tripartite forum for workforce representatives, industry management, and the regulator to promote opportunities for interaction by all three entities on safety matters and to advance initiatives for major accident prevention.
d.    Protections for workers participating in safety activities with a specific and effective process that workers can use to seek redress from retaliatory action with the goal to provide a workplace free from fear that encourages discussion and resolution of safety issues and concerns. Protected activities include, but are not limited to reporting unsafe working conditions, near misses, and situations where stop work authority is used.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

2010-10-I-OS-16

Incorporate by reference into the offshore safety regulations the revised version of Recommended Practice 75, Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities, 3rd Ed., May 2004 (reaffirmed May 2008) upon the inclusion of the CSB recommendations in R11 by API.

Status: Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response
Open - Awaiting Response or Evaluation/Approval of Response (O - ARE/AR) - The recipient has not submitted a substantive response, or the evaluation by CSB staff of a response is pending, or the Board has not yet acted on staff recommendation of status.
 

 
 

Related News

CSB_Small__038
Statement by CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso Regarding the Federal Appeals Court Action on Jurisdiction to Investigate Deepwater Horizon Accident
3/13/2015
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the jurisdiction of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) to investigate the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo well blowout and explosion, turning down an appeal that the full court hear the case brought by Transocean, the owner of the drilling rig.
read more
 
 
© csb.gov. All rights reserved