Man Sentenced for Tampering with Blowout Preventer Testing Records
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that SEAN GRANGER, 36, of Rayne, Louisiana, was sentenced today for knowingly and willfully tampering with a method of record required to be maintained under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance sentenced GRANGER to three years probation and ordered him to pay a $3,000 fine.
According to court documents, on June 4, 2012, GRANGER was employed as a coil tubing supervisor to perform coil tubing services on a well at a drilling rig located in the Gulf of Mexico at Ship Shoal 359 in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Prior to starting the contracted coil tubing services at Ship Shoal 359, GRANGER tested his coil tubing unit’s blowout preventer. A coil tubing unit should not be placed into service for the contract until all the BOP components pass pressure testing.
The results of BOP tests are recorded on a circular graphic chart known as the BOP pressure test chart. To record pressures, a test chart is placed into a chart recorder that has a needle with a pen attached to it. As the recorder spins, the needle makes a record on the test chart of how much pressure the BOP components are holding. The BOP test chart is the record that inspectors review to determine if the BOP units are functioning properly.
On June 4, there were irregularities in the BOP testing process. Rather than take action to properly document the pressures of the BOP components or remedy the irregularities in the testing, GRANGER tampered with the pressure test chart by spinning it on the recorder. When inspectors reviewed the pressure test chart a few days later, they were unable to determine whether the BOP on the coil tubing unit was functioning properly.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Department of Interior-Office of Inspector General and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for their work on this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Greenfield of the National Security Unit was in charge of the prosecution.