Opening Day at the BP Trial -- Phase 2

The legal battle over the responsibility for source control efforts and their duration got off to a blazing start. As Judge Carl Barbier noted, for the opening rounds we have an "Alliance" of parties against BP. The Alliance consists of Transocean, Halliburton, the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, and the States. Those make for some strange bedfellows, but they share one thing in common, they do not have the deepest pockets, BP does. In Phase 1 of the trial, the debate was focused on which party bore how much of the responsibility for the blowout. Judge Barbier has not yet rendered his opinion, but counter to the conventional wisdom, BP scored some points by pointing out that Transocean owned and operated the rig, it was their safety management system that was in use, their personnel were monitoring the real time data and had control of the means to shut in the well, their policy manual told them how to shut in the well, and their duty was to maintain well control. They failed to...(Read Full Article)

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