Posts Tagged ‘Transocean’

Oil Spill Commission Blames Everyone

January 7, 2011

Oil Spill Commission Blames Everyone

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling released a sneak preview of its report Wednesday. Verdict: “systemic failure” by all parties involved, including government regulators. The Commission says this kind of thing could happen again.


Commission Establishes Oil Spill Blame

October 28, 2010

Commission Establishes Oil Spill Blame

Contractor Halliburton knew the cement it used to seal the BP Deepwater oil rig was faulty but used it anyway, according to a report released by a federal commision. “Halliburton and BP both had results in March showing that a very similar foam slurry design to the one actually pumped at the Macondo well would be unstable, but neither acted upon that data,” according to investigators.

Thomas Roth, Halliburton’s vice-president of cementing, recently stated that his company’s tests showed the materials had “good stability,” a claim contradicted by BP officials.

Just who is to blame for the disaster?


Annoying Oil Rig Alarms Silenced

July 28, 2010

Annoying Oil Rig Alarms Silenced

The recent CEO-juggling at PB may have distracted you from an alarming news item. Mike Williams, an electronics technician for Transocean, reported that the alarm for the Blowout Preventer valve (BOP) on the Deepwater Horizon drill rig was intentionally disabled to avoid waking the crew with false alarms.

The result: no alarm for the real emergency, which cost 11 lives. A similar alarm bypass at the Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 miners in an explosion, notes Johnny Kilroy.

 It gets worse. A supervisor told Mr. Williams that the entire Transocean fleet of drill rigs runs the alarms in bypass.


Failure to Cap Well; Failure to Cap Liabilities

May 30, 2010

Failure to Cap Well; Failure to Cap Liabilities

Transocean, the Swiss corporation that owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, tried to limit its Gulf oil spill liability to $27 million, citing a U.S. law from 1851. The Justice Department objected, and lawyers for families of Deepwater victims agree. The oil drilling company changed its position.

Transocean actually made money from the loss of the oil rig, which was insured for $270 million in excess of its actual value. The corporation will  also distribute $1 billion in dividends to its shareholders this year. Families of Transocean employees killed and injured in the Deepwater explosion still await compensation.


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Gulf Oil Spill Spreads

May 16, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Spreads

The Deepwater Horizon oil slick on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico is 53 miles long and 34 miles wide. On the bright side, it sort of looks like a swan.

Things look bad underwater, too. Giant oil plumes are spreading across the Gulf seabed; one of them is ten miles long. Currents could carry the oil anywhere from Yucatan to the Atlantic coast of Florida. The effect on sea life is expected to be catastrophic.


Gulf Oil Spill: International Edition

May 15, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill: International Edition
The Korean-made Deepwater Horizon, owned by a Swiss corporation, was flying a Marshall Islands flag while drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico under contract to British-born BP. It was fitted with a Cameron International blow out preventer (BOP) and serviced by Halliburton, both Houston-based firms. Other partners in the BP oil lease: Japan’s Mitsui and Anadarko Petroleum of Texas.

There is plenty of globalized blame to go around.


Congress Establishes Oil Spill Blame

May 13, 2010

Congress Establishes Oil Spill Blame

Wednesday’s Congressional hearing clearly established blame for the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Coast oil spill:

BP blamed drilling contractor Transocean for its modification of the blow out preventer (BOP) valve manufactured by Cameron International. Transocean blamed BP for submitting bum specs for modification of Cameron’s BOP valve and also a bad cementing job by another contractor, Halliburton. Valve maker Cameron blamed fittings on either side of the BOP, shifting blame to the other three companies. Halliburton claimed it completed work according  to BP plans.

There. We’re glad that’s all cleared up.



See? We Told You So.

May 11, 2010

See? We Told You So.

Congressional committee hearings Tuesday provided the first overt finger-pointing in the Deepwater oil-spill catastrophe. BP officials blamed their Transocean drilling contractors for the Gulf offshore oil spill; Transocean blamed both BP and service provider Halliburton. Guess what Halliburton did.

See? We told you so.


“BP, Transocean and Halliburton blame each other for Deepwater Horizon spill,” Suzanne Goldenberg, The Gurdian.

“Oil companies trade blame over Gulf of Mexico spill,” Olivier Knox, AFP via Google.

“Oil executives shift blame at Senate hearing,” Steven Mufson and David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post.

“Oil-Spill Hearing Leads to Finger-Pointing,” Sioban Hughes and Corey Boles, Wall Street Journal.

“Oil executives face Congress on spill, shift blame,” Timothy Gardner and Ayesha Rascoe, Reuters via CNN Money.

“Senators Hear a Cascade of Blame for Oil Rig Explosion,” Jim Efstathiou Jr., Businesweek.


This Oil Spill Brought To You By …

May 7, 2010

This Oil Spill Brought to You By ...

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, Ltd — Builder of the Deepwater Horizon.
HHI Offshore and Engineering Division brochure here.

Cameron — Manufacturer of oil drilling valves. 
“Cameron CEO: ‘Too Early’ To Know Blowout Preventer Role In Rig Blast,”  Brian Baskin, Dow Jones Newswires via MorningStar.

Transocean Owner and contract operator of the Deepwater Horizon.
“Transocean Ltd. Provides Deepwater Horizon Update” (press release).

BP Global — Transnational energy corporation.
“Update on Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response” (Press Release).

Halliburton — Oil platform services contractor.


“Gulf Coast attorneys general call on BP, Transocean and other Deepwater firms to guarantee long-term impact of oil spill,” Matthew Boyle – The Daily Caller

“BP, Halliburton, Transocean Told to Keep Rig Evidence,” Justin Blum and Jim Polson, Bloomberg News.

“Cameron International Corp. (formerly Cooper Cameron),” Arnold & Itkin, LLP.

 “Oil Blowout Device Maker Has $500M For Liability,” AP via WKRG-TV.

“BP’s blame-game tightrope,” Rowena Mason, Daily Telegraph.

“GoM blowout: assigning blame and liability,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal.

NEW:  “Clarifying Questions of Liability, Cleanup and Consequences,” Matthew L. Wald, New York Times.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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A New Name Surfaces in the Gulf Oil Spill

May 2, 2010

A New Name Surfaces in the Oil Spill





The Deepwater Horizon oil rig was working for BP when it caught fire and began spilling crude into the Gulf. This is destroying the energy company’s ecologically friendly image as well as the environment. Oil rig services were provided by the Halliburton Company. The oil platform itself, though, like 137 others around the world, is owned and operated by Transocean, a Swiss corporation.

BP, formerly British Petroleum, merged with Amoco in 1998 and ARCO in 2000. BP is familiar to Americans through its service stations and advertising (“Beyond Petroleum“). Halliburton, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s old company, is known for no-bid government contracts in Iraq, among other things. Transocean is an unfamiliar name to Americans who do not work offshore or on Wall Street.

Ecological disaster looms on the Gulf Coast and BP, Halliburton and Transocean, under intense financial and legal pressure, may end up blaming each other.