NEW ORLEANS, LA – On April 20, 2011, one year after the explosion, fire and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon and subsequent oil spill, BP (British Petroleum) is suing Transocean Ltd, the owner of the oil rig involved in the disaster.
In a separate lawsuit, BP is also suing Cameron International, the maker of the Blowout Preventer (BOP) that failed, citing that the device failed to stop the huge oil spill that followed the explosion.
The loss was staggering. Not only did the vessel sink to the bottom of the ocean, but 11 workers lost their lives and the blowout preventer failed to prevent the the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
The lawsuits were both filed on the same day – the first anniversary of the explosion that occurred on April 20, 2010.
BP is seeking $40 billion from Transocean in one lawsuit plus the purpose of the suit against Cameron International is to have the court declare that Cameron provided a blowout preventer with a faulty design.
Last month investigators hired by the US government announced that the design of the BOP was flawed. BP is claiming that it was the flawed design that caused an unreasonable amount of risk that harm would occur.
According to BP, it has estimated that its liability for the disaster can be $40.9 billion, but it could face more fines and penalties that could reach the tens of billions.
BBC News US and Canada reports on the disaster and its aftermath:
In the months that followed, more than 200 million gallons (780 million litres) of oil flowed in the Gulf of Mexico from the well, soiling hundreds of miles of coastline in the worst US oil spill in recent history.
In federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday, BP said Swiss-based Transocean and Cameron International, the Houston company that supplied the blowout preventer (BOP), should help it pay for tens of billions of dollars in liabilities resulting from the spill, which include clean-up and compensation costs.
The investigation into the blowout preventer revealed that a piece of drill pipe was trapped in the well pipe under the oil drilling rig and that trapped section of drill pipe was what kept the blowout preventer from shearing and pinching off the well after the explosion.
Counter-claims have been filed by Cameron in its lawsuit where it is defending the integrity of its products. There has been no immediate comment by Transocean on its lawsuit but is requesting judgements against BP, Cameron and others.