US GOVERNMENT regulators have cited oil giant BP and two other companies – Transocean and Halliburton – for alleged safety and environmental breaches stemming from last year’s Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and massive oil spill.
The companies have 60 days to appeal against citations issued by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
These initial citations are the product of a government probe of the Deepwater Horizon blast, which killed 11 workers and caused America’s worst offshore oil spill.
One of the citations accuses well owner BP, rig owner Transocean and cement contractor Halliburton of failing to operate in a “safe and workmanlike manner”.
Another says the companies “failed to take necessary precautions to keep the well under control at all times”.
Transocean spokesman Lou Colasuonno said the company intended to appeal. BP spokesman Scott Dean said the company would respond “in due course” once it reviewed the citations and a Halliburton spokeswoman said the company reserved its right to appeal.
BP said in a statement that it had taken steps to improve safety and was implementing new, voluntary standards in the Gulf of Mexico that exceeded current regulatory requirements.
“We continue to encourage other parties, including Transocean and Halliburton, to acknowledge their responsibilities in the accident, make changes to help prevent similar accidents in the future and step forward to fulfil their obligations to Gulf communities,” the company said.
Halliburton said it believed it was “fully indemnified” by BP against any loss resulting from the rig disaster.