Top executives from Transocean, the offshore drilling firm responsible for running the Deepwater Horizon rig, have received large bonuses for the company’s “best year” for safety.
To justify the bonuses, the company said the rate of recorded incidents and their potential severity had dropped.
On 20 April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploded (photo, from 24heures.ch), killing eleven workers, nine of whom worked for Transocean.
The explosion was followed by millions of gallons of oil poured unabated into the Gulf of Mexico, leading US president Barack Obama to describe the incident as the country’s environmental 9/11.
After polluting the coastlines of four states, scaring tourists away and closing countless fishing grounds, in July the well was capped and it took until september to seal it permanently.
It could take years before the true environmental and economic impact are known.
‘Incident free environment’
Transocean, BP and Halliburton were blamed for the massive spill as a commission concluded that cost-cutting had caused the explosion.
Although in its annual report Transocean acknowledges the explosion on the rig, it says that it exceeded internal safety targets.
The report says : “Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate.”
“As measured by these standards, we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company’s history, which is a reflection on our commitment to achieving an incident free environment, all the time, everywhere,” it adds.
While BP maintains that Transocean shares liability, Transocean has always argued that BP is the only responsible for the oil spill.