The final word is far from being said in the case of the disastrous oil spill that occurred last year in the Gulf of Mexico. Three lawsuits on the way
BP, which operated the ill-fated drilling rig Deepwater Horizon at the time of the accident, is now suing the company Transocean, which owns the drilling rig, for 40billion. U.S. dollars. The company was referred as a contender for as the unethical company of the year in this blog.
BP accuses Transocean of being responsible for the disaster because none security systems worked which referees to the faulty blowpipepreventer. As a matter of curiosity Transoscean filled a counter lawsuit against BP and claims that the drilling contract absolved it of responsibility for pollution or contamination. In a statement the Swiss-based company dismissed BP’s lawsuit as “desperate” and “unconscionable”. It added: “The Deepwater Horizon was a world-class drilling rig manned by a top-flight crew that was put in jeopardy by BP, the operator of the Macondo well, through a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk, in some cases severely.” Transocean is seeking $12.9bn from BP.
BP also sued Cameron International, which made the so-called blowoutpreventer or BOP, which at least in theory should have prevented the accident.
According the lawsuit did Cameron “materially breached its contractual duties in its actions and inactions leading to the loss of well control, the explosion and the loss of life and injuries onboard the Deepwater Horizon, as well as the resulting oil spill”
The last time around
In the Halliburton lawsuit, BP alleges that the US group failed to warn the oil company about testing problems with the cement. It is claimed that “Halliburton’s improper conduct, errors and omissions, including fraud and concealment, caused and/or contributed to the Deepwater Horizon incident.” It also accuses Halliburton employees of missing signs that gas was escaping from the well, while stating that the company had persistently refused to co-operate with investigations into the incident.
It comes as no surprise that these companies will engage in lengthy lawsuits rather than step up to their responsibility. Just think of the money they are now going to spend on already wealthy lawyers pushing the blame around and what good it could have done for the marine environment in the Gulf of Mexico. It is also interesting to see that the eleven men that died in the accident are not mentioned at all.
Any good government would have stepped stopped them from fighting each other and instead made them focus on the task at hand.