Deepwater Horizon animated video published by CSB

The US Chemical Safety Board has published a computer animated re-creation of the gas release and subsequent explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

High-pressure oil and gas from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico caused the blowout on 20th April 2010, killing 11 workers and leaving 17 others seriously injured.

36 hours later, the burning rig sank, triggering the largest oil spill in US history. The CSB video depicts how a raft of safety control failures preceded the tragic events.

Watch the Deepwater Horizon blowout video

Deepwater Horizon video overview

The 11-minute animation illustrates how:

  • The Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer failed to seal the well because the drill pipe buckled under the weight of ‘effective compression’
  • The blowout preventer’s blind shear ram designed to cut the drill pipe and seal the well, very likely activated on the night of the accident
  • The drill pipe was buckled inside the blowout preventer and was therefore only partially cut
  • These control failures directly triggered the massive oil spill and contributed to the scale of the incident on the drilling rig

The video also issues a stark warning that the events which buckled the drill pipe during the Deepwater Horizon accident could occur at other drilling rigs.

More about the CSB

The CSB is an independent federal agency tasked with investigating industrial chemical accidents. Rather than issue citations or fines, the Board makes safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labour groups and regulatory agencies.

Related reading:
Contact us

Let’s get
learning together!

0331 6300 626

Lines open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, GMT

Karon Reynolds

Prefer to talk by email?

Contact us by email

Send a message to
or fill in the form and a member of our safety team is standing by to help.

- John Reynolds