Robert Kaluza & Donald Vidrine were BP's company men on the Deepwater Horizon, the former was the well site leader, both were scheduled to testify
but have exercised their 5th Amendment rights to not incriminate themselves, Vidrine citing illness for his failure to attend.
BP is well known in the industry for its "Masters of the Universe persona" especially since it took over Amoco, always confident that it could go
"where no one had ever gone before".
Well you certainly have now Bob
The above two and Transocean managers aboard the Deepwater Horizon spent hours attempting to determine why drilling mud had been lost from the
down-hole casing before the tremendous blowout occurred.
Miles Ezell was the senior toolpusher for Transocean, he testified before a panel of federal investigators Friday that BP company man Donald Vidrine
was puzzled by the loss of mud during a negative pressure test.
That test was intended to determine the safety of replacing mud in the riser with seawater as the rig crew prepared to cap that well and move to
another drilling site. The weight of the head or column of drilling mud is one safeguard against a blowback of oil and gas from a highly pressurized
“He (Vidrine) wasn’t happy” about the negative pressure test results, Ezell told a panel of investigators for the U.S. Coast Guard and federal
Minerals Management Service. Ezell said Transocean’s offshore installation manager, Jimmy Harrell, had insisted that the negative pressure test be
“That was something that Jimmy Harrell … was adamant about,” Ezell said. “He (Harrell) said that day he would always do a negative pressure
Harrell testified Thursday that Vidrine and another BP company man, Robert Kaluza, sent word that a second negative pressure test was conducted
successfully.... Now then.... this is a bit fishy to me.... Why would both company men send word that the second test had been completed successfully.
Surely this news would come to the OIM (Herrell) from the Transocean Driller or STP (Ezell)... I just dont get this, it stinks
Ezell testified that he received a call in his room at about 9:50 p.m. on the night of the explosion. That call was from assistant driller Stephen
Curtis, 39, of the village of Georgetown in Grant Parish.
“He said: ‘The well is blowing out,’ ” Ezell recalled.
Ezell said he threw on some clothes and stepped into a passageway just in time to be knocked down by the force of a huge explosion.
Curtis, Gordon Jones, 28, of Baton Rouge; Blair Manuel, 56, of St. Amant; and Jason Anderson, 40, of Bay City, Texas, were on the rig floor at the
time of the blowout and are considered to have died then.
Christopher Pleasant is a subsea supervisor for Transocean who also was on the rig that night, he testified Friday that a supervisor told him
approximately four hours before the explosion that the first negative pressure test revealed that the well pipe had lost 60 barrels of drilling
Transocean’s Anderson and BP’s Vidrine then disagreed on the type of negative pressure test to run on a second attempt, Pleasant said he was told.
He said he also was told that Kaluza preferred a different test from the others. Yeah I bet he did....perhaps the type of test that would find 60
barrels of lost mud...
A second test was performed, Pleasant said. He said he didn’t know which type of test was employed. (WOAAHHH..... COP-OUT OR WHAT??) “We didn’t
see anything flow back,” he added. “We started displacing the well with seawater.”
Pleasant said he left the rig floor to tend to other duties in the forward part of the rig. He never heard the steel-smashing explosion. “I heard
popping,” Pleasant said. “But I never heard the big boom.”
Once the blowout occurred, Pleasant testified, it was his predetermined duty to punch a button activating the rig’s emergency disconnect system.
That system was designed to cut and seal the well pipe and detach the rig from the well. (This means operate the BOP)
Pleasant said he ran to the bridge and announced: “I’m hitting the EDS.”
“The captain (Curt Kuchta) told me: ‘Calm down, Chris. We’re not EDSing,’ ” Pleasant said.He said the captain moved away from the button and
was talking with other people on the bridge.
The others were doing their jobs, Pleasant said.“I did mine,” he said, adding that he punched the button 30 seconds later. Four or five minutes
after that, Pleasant said, Kuchta gave the order to hit the EDS button. He said the next order was to abandon ship. So which was it? 30 seconds or
four or five minutes? one thing we know for sure is that the BOP did not seal the well.