The US Attorney General is in the process with federal authorities to opening up criminal and civil investigations into causes of the fire, explosion and oil spill that killed 11 workers, 17 injured and 11 missing that sunk the Deepwater Horizon drill rig this past April.
Reports are that Federal agencies are now opening an investigation that centers on “air and water pollution” which falls under federal guidelines from the Environmental Protect Agency.
The justice department demands BP, Transocean and Haliburton provide documented records from the environmental disaster involved in the Deepwater drilling catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
President Barack Obama has stated “if laws were broken in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the responsible parties would be prosecuted bringing those responsible to justice.”
On April 20, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and fire caused the drilling platform to sink into the Gulf’s waters. The three oil drilling companies BP, Transocean and Haliburton are the responsible parties. Is Transocean BP’s fall guy in this environmental disaster?
This past September, Deepwater Horizon, an oil drilling rig owned by Transocean leased to BP drilled the deepest oil well in history. Since the explosion, BP has had several failed attempts to cap and clean-up the massive oil flow. BP failed their latest “Top Kill” effort their third failure to plug the leak since April.
It has been reported that Transocean the world’s largest offshore oil drilling contractor recently received an outstanding safety record with 50 years of experience in offshore deepwater drilling construction. Like BP, Transocean has had accidents, explosions and casualties.
In March 2002, one of Transocean’s worker was killed abroad the drill rig for BP in Scotland.
On June 2003, one worker was killed, four injured and 21rescued after an explosion on Transocean drilling rig off the coast of Texas.
August 2005, Transocean was issued a safety notice that it had failed to maintain the “Blowout Preventer panel”, close to the same situation that occurred this past April.
It has been reported Transocean was the industry leader in safety for job “quality and overall satisfaction from 2004 to 2007. It also has been reported that 2008 and 2009 Transocean was rated last among deepwater drillers for “quality and performance satisfaction in well drilling.” Because of this latest explosion, Transocean reputation has been damaged.
BP was well aware of Transocean’s safety record fully before they were hired to drill oil from the Gulf. Transocean was the owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform and was under a lease agreement to BP until 2013.
BP also has had a track record of safety violations for neglecting regulated safety practices. BP and Transocean agreed to contract together for deep well oil drilling in the Gulf. Since the Deepwater Horizon burst into flames and sunk spewing oil into Gulf’s waters on April 20. BP is Transocean’s fall guy.
The opinion expressed in this commentary
article are solely those of Michael Coker