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July 1st, 2011

Transocean Report Blames BP For Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Explosion

Transocean has released its investigative report into the Gulf Of Mexico oil rig explosion last April.  Not surprisingly to maritime lawyers, the company has chosen to place the blame for the explosion on BP.

According to the Transocean press release, soon after the Deepwater Horizon explosion last year, the company commissioned an internal investigation team to probe the causes of the tragedy.  According to the investigative report that has been released, the disaster was the result of a “succession of interrelated well design, construction and temporary abandonment decisions” that contributed to the explosion.  Many of these decisions, according to the report, were made by BP in the two weeks before the accident.

The report blames shoddy risk management and communication at BP.  The company did not properly assess and communicate risks, and did not communicate to the drill crew that the cement was not properly tested.  Both BP and Halliburton failed to test the cement slurry program.  BP also failed to assess the risk of temporary abandonment of the well.

The investigative report also mentions a number of other factors including the manner in which BP continued operations of the rig.

It is no surprise to offshore injury lawyers that Transocean has chosen to go hammer and tongs at BP.  The two companies are battling over which company was at fault in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.  BP has already reacted to the Transocean report, saying that the company seemed to have opted to pick and choose facts according to its convenience, ignoring its own failures and lapses.

Transocean and BP are also now battling over who gets control over a piece of the blowout preventer, a critical piece of evidence in the investigations.

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