BP Oil Executives Start the Blame Game on Capital Hill
BP's stock was down about 1.5 percent in early London trading. Company shares have fallen more 15 percent since the rig blast on April 20, wiping about $30 billion from its market value.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce says its investigation of the fatal Deepwater Horizon accident has raised five areas where it appears BP may have put cost above safety:
- Using a single length of production pipe in the well.
- Using too few "centralizers" to keep the producing pipe centered.
- Failure to run a test called a cement bond log to evaluate a cement job.
- Failure to clear debris from the well by circulating drilling mud through it.
- Failure to lock down the wellhead.
Coast Guard Responding To Second Oil Rig Accident In Louisiana
Kris Alingod – AHN News Contributor
New Orleans, LA, United States (AHN) – The Coast Guard is responding to an overturned oil rig off the coast of Louisiana even as federal and local officials race to clean up a massive spill from the explosion of a BP/Transocean drilling platform.
A mobile inland drilling unit capsized in the Charenton navigational canal south of Highway 90, according to a Coast Guard statement. The rig has a capacity of 20,000 gallons of diesel, but the Coast Guard said over the weekend that it is not leaking fuel.
Nevertheless, a containment boom 500 feet long has been deployed around the platform as a precaution. Officials have also established a 1,000-yard safety zone. A salvage plan is being developed and the investigation of the accident continues.
The Coast Guard has about 2,000 personnel and more than 100 vessels helping contain a spill following the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon, a mobile offshore drilling unit owned by Transocean.
The blast occurred 52 miles off the coast of Venice and left three workers critically injured and 11 missing.
More than 1 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered from the Deepwater Horizon spill, the Coast Guard said. The departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and Commerce are working with the Environmental Protection Agency and governors of Gulf states stop the leak and save wildlife.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Sunday said it closed commercial and recreational fishing in federal waters affected by the spill, mostly Louisiana waters at the mouth of the Mississippi river to waters off Florida's Pensacola Bay.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has activated the state National Guard to help respond to the spill and about 600 guardsmen will help with clean-up efforts for 90 days.
People along the Gulf Coast braced for environmental damage and disruption to businesses, such as the rich shrimp and oyster fisheries along southern Louisiana. President Obama said he will commit "every single resource" the federal government had available to combat the spill, as the military began mobilizing Thursday to help prevent environmental damage.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the spill which occured after an explosion on the Transocean oil rig.
Type Public (NYSE: RIG)
Industry Oil Equipment & Services
Founded 1973 as Sonat Offshore
Headquarters Houston, Texas
Key people Steven Newman, Chief Executive Officer
Oil and Gas Exploration
Revenue $12.674 Billion (2008)
Net income $4.202 billion (2008)
Employees 26,300 (2008)
Transocean is the world's largest offshore drilling contractor and the leading provider of drilling management services worldwide. With a fleet of 140 mobile offshore drilling units plus three ultra-deepwater units under construction, the company's fleet is considered one of the most modern and versatile in the world due to its emphasis on technically demanding segments of the offshore drilling business. Its worldwide fleet is more than twice the size of the next-largest competitor. The company owns or operates a contract drilling fleet of 46 High-Specification Floaters (Ultra-Deepwater, Deepwater and Harsh-Environment semisubmersibles and drillships), 26 Midwater Floaters, 10 High-Specification Jackups, 55 Standard Jackups and other assets utilized in the support of offshore drilling activities worldwide.
Oil platform workers typically stay on oil platforms for two weeks at a time, followed by two weeks on land. It can be a difficult business. Since 2001, there have been 69 offshore deaths, 1,349 injured and 858 fires and explosions in the Gulf of Mexico according to the federal Minerals Management Service.
Coast Guard hotline for next of kin: 1-832-587-8554
If you have been injured at sea while working on an oil rig, oil drilling ship, semi-submersible, crew boat, or oil supply ship, you may have a claim for money damages under Federal Maritime law.
The Jones Act and the general maritime law create rights for damages against your employer which includes coverage for all medical expenses. When you are injured through the negligence of your employer, you may be entitled for compensation for lost past and future wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, future medical expenses, and costs of retraining. Because of the physical demands placed on offshore workers, injuries that leave a worker less than 100 percent fit may make them unfit for duty. There are few light duty jobs for workers on an oil rig, oil supply ship or crew boat.
In most instances, jack up rigs, floating oil rigs, and lay barges that move from location to location are vessels in navigation and create rights under the Jones Act for workers injured while working aboard these structures. In most cases, the Jones Act provides more liberal damages than damages available to workers on fixed production platforms who are limited by compensation under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Common injuries after oil rig explosions include:
- Brain injury from blasts
- Exposure to toxic and dangerous chemicals
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of limbs
- Spine injury from falls
ABOUT THE JONES ACT
Oil rig workers face many dangers while working 1shifts that can exceed 12 hours or more. The conditions are often very dangerous work environments. Workers must endure dangerously extreme weather, all while working under extreme pressure. Many times, workers will travel from platform to platform across rough waters, servicing multiple stations a day.
The Jones Act protects the rights of oil rig workers as well as the rights of those who work on jack-up rigs, barges, drill ships, crew boats, and other moveable vessels. Under maritime law, oil rigs are considered vessels and that means protection for people injured while working on an oil rig.
A February report by Forbes magazine listed working on an oil rig as one of the top ten worst jobs for 2010. They came to their conclusion by evaluating several different jobs by set criteria which consisted of work environment, physical demands, stress, median income, and hiring outlook. Oil rig work came in low due to the high amounts of stress, physical demand, and onsite hazards. Many of these hazards associated with the job could result in severe injury or death. That in turn would result in high medical costs due to any of the following:
* Long Term Rehabilitation
* In-Home Care
* Lost Wages and Earning Capacity
* Future physical or emotional health complications associated with the injury
* Emotional and financial counseling for the worker and his family
* Vocational Rehabilitation