Topics: Unlike BP, Transocean likely off the hook for felony charges related to workers' deaths in 2010 Gulf spill, Transocean to pay $1.4 billion to settle pollution, safety violations in Gulf oil spill, BP asks Halliburton to talk about Deepwater Horizon accident, Oiled pelican photo in "HOLD BP ACCOUNTABLE" ad greets Justice employees at Washington Metro station, Final Approval of BP Settlement Triggers Deadlines, Safe harbor, uncertain future for Shell's Arctic rig Fuel Fix » Federal probe into Shell accident could slow Arctic drilling progress
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Transocean was every bit as responsible for the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo catastrophe as BP. It is shameful that DOJ settled with them without filing criminal charges involving jail time. The cynical quote from Dean Logan sharply illustrates the point—no jail time, no deterrent. To add insult to injury the money comes out of shareholders' rather than executives' pockets.
Professor Uhlman has commented frequently on the legal proceedings and this is the first time I recall him being critical of DOJ, his former employer. I find it incomprehensible that DOJ let Transocean off the criminal hook for so little in return.
Sadly, there is no justice in this settlement. I can't help wondering how the families of the 11 men who were killed must feel about it.
January 04, 2013 at 6:35 PM, updated January 04, 2013 at 11:18 PM
It seems that the Gulf comes out the loser despite fines. It's doubtful that the $1 billion set aside to repair the environmental damage will be much more than a drop in the bucket of what will be needed to restore the Gulf's to some semblance of pre-spill conditions. Any critical marsh/wetlands restoration is likely to involve very high labor costs and there is a ton of it to do.
While I suppose inspection of blowout preventers is better than nothing the National Academy of Sciences report pretty much said in so many words that such inspections are close to being worthless. New technologies are yet to be developed that would adequately test blowout preventers in anything approaching realistic conditions.
I think we should await evidence to see if anything comes of Transocean's "cooperation" agreement with Justice. They are in a position to push fairly hard for Transocean to cough up incriminating evidence against Transocean's partners in crime.
Hopefully, enough information will come out so we might be able to guess as to why so many higher ups on the rig acted like total and complete fools in their supervision duties given the fact that their lives were at risk as well as that of the workers. It's human nature to heavily discount future risk but a beginning driller should have understood that the Macondo was repeatedly shouting to everyone that she was fixing to blow immediately.
I'm also dismayed that the National Academy of Sciences ended up getting so little money. If it wasn't for them squeaking what little they could find out of their painfully small budget there would have been no scientists at all doing work early on in the spill. I continue to weep at how much critical knowledge was lost because, as great as the scientists were who did the early work, their numbers were sorrowfully paltry.
January 03, 2013 at 12:28 PM, updated January 03, 2013 at 1:32 PM
The kindergarten finger pointing is hardly a surprise. However, BP is correct in their accusations against Halliburton although they pointedly overlook the fact that BP fell woefully short in their responsibilities to adequately supervise the cementing of the Macondo.
In this case BP failed in supervising Drilling 101 problems. Unfortunately, deepwater drilling poses such enormous technical challenges that it is simply not possible for all the expertise needed for adequate supervision to reside in-house with any single company and is beyond the scope of the government to adequately regulate even if they were truly inclined to do so—something which is highly doubtful.
When no one entity can be held accountable, no one at all ends up being accountable. Without a regulatory framework that addresses this reality of deepwater drilling we will continue to see serious drilling tragedies. h/t Yasuragi
Jan. 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM
More's the pity the ad didn't go up before DOJ's ridiculous settlement with Transocean. Hopefully, it might serve as a reminder to DOJ officials of their responsibilities to BP's victims.
Oiled pelican photo in "HOLD BP ACCOUNTABLE" ad greets Justice employees at Washington Metro station
January 07, 2013 at 11:40 AM, updated January 07, 2013 at 1:42 PM
Final Approval of BP Settlement Triggers Deadlines
The deadline for claims for damages suffered from BP's black monster is fast approaching. I worry that many of the substance fishers will not understanding their legal options and end up holding the very short end of the stick although I sure hope I'm wrong.
January 08, 2013 12:12 PM
As you may be already be aware, the BP Economic and Property Damages Settlement was granted final approval at the end of December.
Of course, the Settlement Program has now actually been operating for over seven months, receiving and processing claims and making Settlement offers. Final court approval of the Settlement does not change those procedures. It does, however, trigger some important new deadlines to which claimants and their representatives should be alert. Most urgently for now are the following deadlines:
January 22, 2013 (this month!) is the deadline to file a claim under the Seafood Compensation Program. This includes all commercial fishermen, including boat captains and seafood crew but not charter boat captains. This deadline is very quickly approaching, so if you think it applies to you, now is the time to take action.
Other claimants have a significantly longer timeframe in which to submit their claims. For claimants who have been paid by the claims administrator, additional claims must be filed within 180 days of their payment. For claimants who have not been paid by the claims administrator, the deadline for filing claims is April 22, 2014.
January 22, 2013 is also the deadline for appealing the District Court’s Final Approval Order. ...But class members who previously objected to the Settlement and now wish to appeal have only a couple more weeks to do so.
The environment dodged a bullet as Shell and a small army finally got the Kulluk to safe harbor without any sort of spill. I wonder how many times Mother Nature has to send cranky messages that she is going to beat the tar out of anyone with the chutzpah to think they can stand up to her in the arctic seas with their puny man-made toys. In their arrogance, big oil and our government continue to blissfully ignore these warnings.
Anyone who thinks Arctic drilling is a dandy idea ought to catch a few episodes of Deadliest Catch. Two of my uncles worked on the Alaska pipeline. They had endless tales of perils from suffering Mother Nature's wrath and they were in vastly more friendly conditions on land. Pure evil seems to be the default condition for Arctic oceans.
January 7, 2013 | Updated: January 7, 2013 11:01pm
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has a longstanding reputation as an industry-captive agency and the Coast Guard's behavior during the BP crises indicates that they have joined them. No doubt the length of the investigations will be governed by the time it takes for them to come up with some sort of tortured logic to justify Arctic drilling.
I'll believe the administrations is serious about investigating the practical feasibility of Arctic drilling when they assign studies to the National Science Foundation and the Chemical Safety Board and give them the money to do a thorough job.
Salazar continues to be unashamed for publicly playing industry lapdog.
January 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm
PLEASE visit Pam LaPier's diary to find out how you can help the Gulf now and in the future. We don't have to be idle! And thanks to Crashing Vor and Pam LaPier for working on this!Previous Gulf Watcher diaries:
|12-18-12 05:59 PM||Gulf Watchers Tuesday - Survey Says...Well, Nothing Yet.. - BP Catastrophe AUV #602||Lorinda Pike|
|11-27-12 04:30 PM||Gulf Watchers Tues. - $2.4 billion of BP settlement to Repub founded group - BP Catastrophe AUV #601||peraspera|
Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.
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