Safety Analysis of the Deepwater Horizon Blowout Based on the Functional Resonance Analysis Model (FRAM)
Authors: Rogério Ferreira Pereira a, Claudia do R. Vaz Morgado a
Abstract: The Functional Resonance Analysis Model (FRAM) defines a framework for accident analysis based on the systems theory and resilience engineering, making it more suitable for complex systems. The purpose of this article is the usage of FRAM to understand the variability in the process of offshore drilling in the Deepwater Horizon accident, and the variability that possibly might exist under other offshore drilling operations. The Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico occurred when the Horizon ultra-deepwater semisubmersible oil drilling rig exploded and sank in the northern Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, killing 11 crew members, injuring 17 others and initiating a huge marine oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon is one of the greatest environmental accidents in the history of oil. Recent demands for new discoveries and exploitation has led companies to challenge even deeper waters, as in the cases of companies in Brazil and South Africa indicating a need to better understand the overall drilling process to avoid accidents. Results of FRAM analysis of Deepwater Horizon accident show that functions "drilling" "cement placement" and "temporary abandonment" are main functions and they were not prepared to cope with process variability to ensure that processes involving diverse and complex enterprises were resilient enough to kept working when dealing with disturbances.
Keywords: resilience engineering, deepwater oil drilling, functional resonance.
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