Recommendation 3.3: The performance of the design capabilities described in the preceding recommendation should be demonstrated and independently certified on a regular basis by test or other means.
Recommendation 3.4: The instrumentation on the BOP system should be improved so that the functionality and condition of the BOP can be monitored continuously.
Summary Recommendation 3.5: Instrumentation and expert system decision aids should be used to provide timely warning of loss of well control to drillers on the rig (and ideally to onshore drilling monitors as well). If the warning is inhibited or not addressed in an appropriate time interval, autonomous operation of the BSRs, EDS, general alarm, and other safety systems on the rig should occur.13
Recommendation 3.6: An unambiguous procedure, supported with proper instrumentation and automation, should be created for use as part of the BOP system. The operational status of the system, including battery charge and pressures, should be continuously monitored from the surface.
Recommendation 3.7: A BOP system with a critical component that is not operating properly, or one that loses redundancy in a critical component, should cause drilling operations to cease. Drilling should not resume until the BOP’s emergency operation capability is fully cured.
Recommendation 3.8: A reliable and effective EDS is needed to complete the three-part objective of cutting, sealing, and separating as a true “dead man” operation when communication with the rig is lost. The operation should not depend on manual intervention from the rig, as was the case with the Deepwater Horizon. The components used to implement this recommendation should be monitored or tested as necessary to ensure their operation when needed.
If the consequence of losing communication and status monitoring of the BOP system is an automatic severing of the drill pipe and disconnection from the well, the quality and reliability of this communication link will improve dramatically.
Recommendation 3.9: BOP systems should be designed to be testable without concern for compromising the integrity of the system for future use.
13This recommendation is also presented in Chapter 4 as Recommendation 4.1.