Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

CEO admits crew should have prevented gulf oil spill

NEW ORLEANS — The chief executive of the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig acknowledged in court Tuesday that his crew should have done more to avert the 2010 oil well blowout that left 11 dead and soiled hundreds of miles of beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.

"Do I wish the crew had done more? Absolutely," said Steven Newman, Transocean's chief executive. "We acknowledged we should have done more."

Newman's measured and partial acknowledgment of accountability goes to the heart of the U.S. District Court trial, now in its fourth week, to assign responsibility for the disaster.

He said that while his company was responsible for a "narrow slice" of the drilling operations, including providing pressure tests that produced faulty readings shortly before the explosion, it was the oil company BP that "has everything under its umbrella."

The trial bundles suits brought by the Justice Department, several state governments, private businesses and individual claimants against BP and its contractors. Lawyers for tens of thousands of people and businesses seeking redress for damages claim that BP, Transocean and Halliburton are grossly negligent for mismanaging safety procedures.

The Justice Department is arguing that BP was grossly negligent and ultimately responsible for a series of mistakes because it designed the well, selected the contractors and managed the drilling operation. While BP has acknowledged mistakes, it says its contractors also made serious errors that caused the blowout.

Because of its contracts with BP, Transocean is protected from most spill costs, aside from punitive damages, even if they are all found to have been grossly negligent. Transocean has already pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor criminal charge of violating the Clean Water Act and has agreed to pay $400 million in criminal penalties. It also agreed to $1 billion in civil settlements.

CEO admits crew should have prevented gulf oil spill 03/19/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 1:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Four Largo city employees lose jobs for not working during Hurricane Irma

    Local Government

    LARGO — Four public works employees resigned or were fired because they didn't show up to work during Hurricane Irma.

    Four public works employees resigned or were fired because they didn't show up to work during Hurricane Irma. The employees, two of whom were fired and two resigned, said they decided to be with their families considering the magnitude of the storm. But City Manager Henry Schubert said Thursday most city employees are required to be present during an emergency. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Aaron Hernandez lawyer: Brain showed 'severe' case of CTE

    Bucs

    BOSTON — Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  3. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]
  4. Mexico anxiously awaits the fate of a 12-year-old schoolgirl after deadly earthquake

    World

    MEXICO CITY — A sprawling earthquake recovery effort spanning several states turned intensely personal Thursday as Mexicans were riveted by an effort to save a 12-year-old girl who was pinned in the rubble of her elementary school.

    Search and rescue efforts continue at the Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Mexico, Thursday. Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake has stunned central Mexico, killing more than 200 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. ]AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell]
  5. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week

    Blogs

    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.