On Friday, April 1, Transocean announced to its shareholders that it paid executives multi-million dollar bonuses for the company’s safety record.
On April 4, 2011, upon hearing of the bonuses, Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar blasted the company for declaring the year 2010 to be “the best year in safety performance” in the company’s history. The year 2010 was witness to the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 people followed by an oil spill that poured 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
In a conference call Salazar said that it was the company’s “complacency” that created the oil spill.
Bill Reilly, who co-led President Barack Obama’s commission investigating the Gulf spill, also blasted the company. “I think Transocean just doesn’t get it,” he said.
Reilly added, “It’s embarrassing to see a position taken like that by an industry leader.”
Salazar pointed out that 2010 was “probably the greatest year of pain” for the oil and gas industry and that Transocean was “at least at some fault” for the disaster. London-based oil company, BP Plc, who leased the oil rig from Transocean, was also involved in that disaster.
An April 1, 2011 filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission detailed the safety bonuses issued by Transocean to its executives.