This little piece of plastic may be responsible for forcing the U.S. to rethink its entire domestic energy strategy.
Baltimore, MD (Vocus) June 16, 2010
With popular opinion rising in opposition to drilling offshore – thanks to the disastrous BP oil spill – we now have a similar event challenging the ability of companies even to produce safely onshore, according to a new article from Money Morning.
On June 3, the sky exploded in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, over a natural gas well in the Marcellus Shale. After a 16-hour-long spillage of gas, toxic flowback water, and brine, the well was capped.
The story went largely underreported.
According to Money Morning Contributing Editor Dr. Kent Moors, however, the BP oil spill and the Marcellus gas explosion have something startling in common: The failure of a $7 ring of rubberized plastic.
This part is called a Blowout Preventer (BOP). It forms a series of redundant valves that should allow technicians to stop the flow of oil or gas, stabilize a system, or even cap a well in the event of a pressure surge.
In both cases, the BOP connection malfunctioned.
“Now,” says Dr. Moors, who advises six of the world’s 10 largest oil producers, “This little piece of plastic may be responsible for forcing the U.S. to rethink its entire domestic energy strategy.”
The BOP market is dominated by two manufacturers. Their stocks have taken a hit, but both management teams stand behind their products. Indeed, an exhaustive 2009 study of more than 90,000 field tests supports their contention.
To get the full story, see Dr. Moors’ new article: The $7 Piece of Plastic That May Have Caused the BP Oil Spill
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