The Offshore Technology Conference in Houston this year is showcasing several devices that were developed in response to the devastating Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. According to the Houston Chronicle, one of these is a device that can possibly prevent oil spills of the kind that resulted after the Gulf of Mexico explosion last year. The pipe-cutting device was unveiled by T-3 Energy Service. The device uses a curved blade in the blowout preventer instead of the V-shaped plates that were present in the blowout preventer on the rig. The design is currently being tested. Other companies at the Offshore Technology Conference are showcasing other devices to prevent a repeat of last year's explosion. For instance, National Oilwell Varco is presenting its new shear rams. A technical investigation into the BP-operated oil rig explosion mentioned the shear rams as a factor in the failure of the blowout preventer and the explosion. Another device being shown at the Offshore Technology Conference captures the natural pressure underwater in order to activate the shear. Several other products are being presented for customers from the offshore industry. Necessity is the mother of invention. It seems that the need for better offshore safety for oil rig crewmembers in the Gulf of Mexico is spurring companies to invest in new devices that promise safety. If you have been injured in an offshore accident, contact a maritime attorney at my office for an evaluation of your case.
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