One wrong move can lead to a disruption on a catastrophic scale. This is something that Baker Hughes Inc. should have kept in mind when they were installing their safety valves in the underground gas storage field. When the wrong steel was used in the process, ruptures occurred which resulted in some of the caverns becoming inoperable and the entire facility worthless, as claimed in a recent lawsuit. The entire gas storage field cost around $2.5 billion, and all of that went down the drain.
A Complaint Was Filed
A complaint that was filed by Triuva Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH stated that defective safety valves were supplied by Baker Hughes which could crack open as soon as they were set in place within a corrosive environment. Such defective equipment is known to represent a huge liability risk and catastrophic consequences could occur. This is mostly because a rupture can release natural gas intothe atmosphere and result in a larger fire occur.
The German unit of the company was known to be closely linked to the two caverns of Triuva which experienced ruptures of the safety valve the year before.
The Type Of Steel Used
The parts of the safety values were known to be made out of steel that is normally used for deep water jobs on a short term basis. This is where the systems are bolted and threaded together. The material however is rendered unsuitable for underground systems that are to be made on a permanent basis since the welding will not be able to take place properly and any microscopic changes will then lead to corrosion cracks.
The Consequences Of Installation
In 2009 and 2010, safety valves by Baker Hughes had been installed in 30 of the Triuva caverns. Two of these installed valves had ruptured in the beginning of last year due to defective welds. While these caverns are rendered unusable, the question of the safety of the other gas storage chambers is now being asked. Some even now think that the entire investment will need to be written off. Of cource, Triuva assumes that if the faulty valves are replaced with the ones made from the right steel, then any further damage may be prevented. According to Triuva, Baker Hughes put the lives of many people at risk by supplying them with defective equipment.
Baker Hughes stated that similar products had been sold by them to some of their other clients within the same regions and for the same purposes. And if the same result happens, the company finances could suffer tremendously.
Triuva plans on asking the jury to triple damages awarded to them so that Baker Hughes would be made an example of and be severely punished for selling them the defective safety valve systems. The company also states that the supplier should have been aware of the results of selling such a defective product.