A faulty blowout preventer - a device that acts as a last line of defense to stop leaks - was to blame in the BP oil spill.

The cause of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been determined. The Washington Post reported that a faulty blowout preventer - a device that acts as a last line of defense to stop leaks - is to blame. The Deepwater Horizon rig sank as a result, killing 15 people and starting a leak that lasted for 87 days.

With a name like "blowout preventer," one might consider equipment monitoring of this device - which is designed to seal the well in the event of a breach - essential. But according to The Hattiesburg American, a U.S. Chemical Safety Board report "details multiple failures and improper testing of the blowout preventer, and blames bad management and operations for the breakdown." Rig operators were laid at fault, as well as bad wiring, bent drill pipes and a dead battery.

Thanks to poor upkeep and a failure to correctly test for equipment reliability, BP caused not one of, but the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. Four years later, the Gulf of Mexico has not yet fully recovered. In order to protect the environment and the bottom dollar, more has to be done.

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