By Houston Business Journal

The two relief wells being drilled by Transocean Ltd. and BP Plc have been slowed in part by multiple failed tests of the blowout preventers, the same systems that failed on the Deepwater Horizon in April, killing 11 and causing the worst oil spill in American history.

According to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, augmented testing procedures found several problems, including:

â¿¢ during ROV hot stab testing, the Lower Marine Riser Package disconnect function was unsuccessful because of a leaking shuttle valve;

â¿¢ a failed shuttle valve caused an unsuccessful test of the All Stabs Retract function;

â¿¢ a failure of the deadman test because a shuttle valve was installed that should not have been;

â¿¢ a broken solenoid connection on the blue pod that prevented that pod from closing the casing shear rams.

Salazar said the problems were repaired and the re-tests showed no problems.

⿿Interior is closely monitoring the drilling of the relief wells to ensure safety,⿝ he said.

The Houston Business Journal is providing continuous coverage of the Gulf oil spill.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010