, April 20, 2011 (ENS) - On the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, BP today filed a $40 billion lawsuit against the rig's owner, Transocean.
"As the owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig, Transocean is a 'responsible party' under the Oil Pollution Act and should therefore contribute to addressing economic and environmental damage sustained in the Gulf Coast," London-based BP claims.
BP said in a statement that Swiss-based company Transocean "missed critical signs that hydrocarbons were flowing up the riser and failed to take appropriate actions."
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, April 21, 2010. (Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)
The blowout explosion killed 11 men and sent 4.9 million barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf over a three-month period, ruining the region's environment and economy.
Transocean called the lawsuit a "desperate bid" by BP to renege on a contract to assume full responsibility for pollution and environmental costs.
"This suit is specious and unconscionable," Transocean said in a statement.
In a separate lawsuit, also filed today, London-based BP sued Cameron International Corp. for negligence, claiming that a blowout preventer, or BOP, made by Cameron failed to avert the disastrous 4.9 million barrel oil spill.
BP said in a statement that one of the BOP's "blind shear rams," which was meant to cut the faulty drill pipe and seal the well, failed to close fully due to a piece of trapped drill pipe, contributing to the April 20 disaster.
Cameron has filed counter-claims and maintains its blowout preventer was not at fault.
In its statement of claim, BP said, "The Deepwater Horizon BOP was unreasonably dangerous, and has caused and continues to cause harm, loss, injuries, and damages to BP (and others) stemming from the blowout of Macondo well, the resulting explosion and fire onboard the Deepwater Horizon, the efforts to regain control of the Macondo well, and the oil spill that ensued before control of the Macondo well could be regained."
"The Presidential Commission and BP's internal investigation found that the Deepwater Horizon accident was the result of multiple causes involving multiple parties including the BOP's failure," stated the oil company.
Also today, Transocean filed claims for judgments against BP, Cameron and other companies. Transocean is seeking a judgment against BP for $12.9 million and a judgment against well-capping cement contractor Halliburton and others for $20 million.
All lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans before Judge Carl Barbier, who oversees national litigation over the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill. Today was the legal deadline for all parties to file claims against each other.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2011. All rights reserved.
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