Transocean Employees Refuse to Testify in Oil Spill Probe

Posted in Deepwater Horizon,Gulf Coast,Transocean,US Coast Guard (USCG),Washington Maritime News on April 1, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – In Washington, D.C. officials are conducting an investigation into the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

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Three workers for Transocean, Ltd., the company that owned The Deepwater Horizon, are refusing to testify at hearings which are part of a joint investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The U.S. Interior Department, which is conducting a joint investigation with the Coast Guard, said it issued subpoenas to three Transocean employees two weeks ago to compel them to testify at a set of hearings.

The goal of the hearings, scheduled for next week, is to examine the design and performance of the blowout preventer, a key piece of equipment that is supposed to prevent oil spills.

The three employees have indicated they do not plan to attend the hearings, the Interior Department said. Department officials are now pressing Transocean Chief Executive Steven Newman to take steps to compel his workers to testify.

The purpose of the hearings is to find out why the blowout preventer failed to do its job and prevent the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The blowout preventer is a key piece of equipment in deepwater drilling.

Published by maritime lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP