The giant oil spill creeping along America’s southern seaboard has so far engulfed BP in the blackest slick of negative publicity.
In vain, Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, has stressed the responsibility of Transocean, its contractor, for maintaining safety on the rig that exploded two weeks ago, causing the oil company’s Macondo well to start leaking rapidly.
“This was not our accident. This was not our drilling rig. This was not our equipment. It was not our people, our systems or our processes. This was Transocean’s rig. Their systems. Their people. Their equipment,” Mr Hayward insisted.
Despite his efforts the anger of US government and Louisiana residents is focused on the oil major as it struggles to stem the spillage.
However, Transocean is no bit-part player in this tale of equipment failure, the tragic death of 11 staff members and an environmental catastrophe that threatens the US coast.
As the world’s largest rig owner, New York and Zurich-listed Transocean is in charge of safety on its 300 rigs, including responsibility for blowout preventers – the safety device believed to have failed in the Gulf of Mexico.
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