The interaction on the rig between the company man (from BP and his onshore BP bosses) and the OIM from TransOcean during the critical time will be crucial evidence.
To me the case for BP does not look good considering past safety problems and a corporate culture known for giving bonuses to reward cost cutting and coming in under projected budgets. This well was already over budget and past projected time for completion. Several cost cutting measures took place that could have contributed to this disaster in the 24 - 36 hour period before the blowout. The crews on the rig were almost ready to move on and this well was very close to being done. In a stroke of irony there was a party on board the night before the blowout to celebrate TransOcean's safety record. Somebody monitoring the well on the rig or onshore should have noticed one or more of the warning signs that caught in time could have saved the lives of the eleven men and prevented the disaster that we have now. Experienced industry experts who have seen what limited evidence that is available now cannot believe that these warning signs were missed.
I contrast the corporate culture at BP which has been described as unsafe and scary by many long time oil people who I know, to that of Getty Oil, for example. In my previous career I was associated with Getty Oil for over ten years as a supplier of safety equipment and they valued safety over everything from the top to the bottom of the company. They spent so much money that the other oil companies at the time thought they were crazy. If you were unsafe, you did not work with them. Nowadays, believe it or not one of the known to be safest in the industry oil companies is Exxon/Mobil. Probably a positive result of one the worst oil disasters, they got safety now. Too bad they did not get it sooner.
You mentioned Halliburton. Cement jobs can fail and that is not an infrequent occurrence. That is why you test and test until you are sure. Surely as you say, Halliburton will be sued, but ultimately the responsibility to test and to know when to proceed is up to the operators.
If there was negligence, will it be shared? If BP wanted TransOcean to do something potentially unsafe and TO went along with it, who is to blame? If BP wanted TO to proceed and TO did not have all the information to know that proceeding was unsafe, then who is to blame? This is a complex case, my opinions are only my opinions and don't mean squat. My opinions, such as they are, are based on the experience of industry people whose judgement I trust, but I will keep an open mind as more details and evidence comes out. Nobody knows how the legal wrangling will turn out for sure and it is likely to be going on for many years.
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