ENGINEERING ANALYSIS INC.


INJURIES AND FATALITIES PRODUCED BY

DEEPWATER HORIZON VAPOR CLOUD EXPLOSION

 

As part of a company-funded engineering study, EAI is in the process of recreating the vapor cloud explosion and resulting damage and injury aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil platform by means of the Breeze VEXDAM software.  The study is based partly on the National Academy of Engineering report entitled, Macondo Well-Deepwater Horizon Blowout: Lessons for Offshore Drilling Safety, January 2012, and the Transocean report entitled, Macondo Well Incident, Transocean Investigation Report, June 2011.  Determination of the source(s) of ignition for the vapor cloud explosion(s) is of special interest.  Special attention is also being directed toward the placement and sheltering of the lifeboats.  The current three-dimensional model of the Deepwater Horizon platform is provided in Figure 1.  A total of 126 crew members, in the form of VEXDAM Men, have been included in the current platform model, distributed as follows:

 

                                          Location                     No. of Crew Members

                             Bridge                                                   10

                             Third Deck                                             30

                             Second Deck                                         30

                             Main Deck                                              26

                             Drill Floor                                              11

                             Fwd Lifeboat Platform                            1

                             Lifeboat #1                                             9

                             Lifeboat #2                                             9

 

Figure 2 displays two vapor clouds produced by 2000 lbs of fuel distributed equally within engine rooms #3 and #4.  The blast overpressure contour for 100 psi is shown in Figure 3, while Figures 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 display decreasing blast overpressures ranging from 50 psi down to 0.75 psi.  The resulting color-coded damage and injury display is presented in Figure 11.  Notice should be taken that the aft lifeboats suffered severe damage.