“We all hate the moratorium, because its going to hurt us badly, but if anyone needs a reason to understand why its been put in place, this is it. This was not a freak accident and the widespread disabling of safety systems was not unusual.” – Mike Williams, Transocean
The rig’s one danger alarm never sounded, was disabled, could not be heard. If it had, workers in the drilling area — the shaker room, the mud room, the pit and pump room — would have immediately evacuated. The rig’s general alarm and indicator lights were set to ‘inhibited’ meaning they would record high gas levels or fire in a computer, but wouldn’t trigger any warning signals.
Experts have said it was a mistake to displace the mud before the well was completely plugged, because the mud weight is the first defense against natural gas or oil kicking up and blowing out the well.
“Maybe they were trying to save time. At the end of the well sometimes they think about speeding up.”
Underwater plumes of oil have been confirmed.
Generally 0.8 miles deep and up to 15 miles from the wellhead, the white dot in this Joint Analysis Group screen shot.