In his statement, MMS's Danenberger who retired in January indicated that he had closely followed the investigation of the Montara blowout in the Timor Sea northwest of Australia and the ongoing Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in the Macondo field in the Gulf of Mexico. He said he wanted to "express my disappointment in certain media comments directed at my former MMS colleagues. These comments have not only been ill-informed and unsubstantiated, but malicious. Without hesitation, I can tell you that MMS regulatory personnel - inspectors, engineers, scientists, and others are 100% committed to their safety and pollution prevention mission.
He indicated that he had written several papers on blowout occurrence rates and causes. The most recent paper reviews the blowout record during the 15-year period from 1992-2006. He said, "According to these data, well control performance for deepwater drilling was significantly better than for shallow water operations. There were no fatalities or major spills associated with deepwater drilling blowouts during the 15-year study period."
He commented on various media reports regarding the lack of an "acoustic switch" backup system [See WIMS 5/3/10] and said "At this time, there is no evidence that such systems would have made a difference in this incident. Attempts to close BOPs [blowout preventers] were reportedly made prior to the DWH evacuation. The BOP should have also been signaled when the rig lost power and when the riser disconnected. It is unlikely that additional signals sent acoustically to the stack would have prevented the blowout."