Federal Investigation Into BP Oil Spill Assigns Blame

The government finished its investigation into the blowout of a well on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 men and was the start of a 57-day oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, finding fault with BP and its contractors, Transocean and Halliburton.

According to the investigation, the turn of events was due to “poor risk management, last-minute changes to plans, failure to observe and respond to critical indicators, inadequate well control response, and insufficient emergency bridge response training by companies and individuals responsible for drilling at the Macondo well and for the operation of the Deepwater Horizon.”

BP was “ultimately responsible” for the safety of the crew and environment, the report says.

BP didn’t object to any of the investigation’s findings and posted a response on its site, saying that it “agrees with the report’s core conclusion consistent with every other official investigation that the Deepwater Horizon accident was the result of multiple causes, involving multiple parties, including Transocean and Halliburton.”

For the full report from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement: Report Regarding the Causes of the April 20, 2010 Macondo Well Blowout

For the press release about the report: Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team Releases Final Report


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About the Author

Lindsey Perkins Wade

Sarah-K.-GiestingSarah K. Giesting is an associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences Practice in the firm's New York office. Ms. Giesting's practice focuses on compliance and regulatory issues within the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology industries. Ms. Giesting's experience includes:

  • Counseling clients on state and federal health care fraud and abuse issues, compliance and regulatory parameters, and industry guidance, including sales and marketing practices, consulting relationships, grants, CME programs, and off-label promotion
  • Representing health care entities in connection with government investigations, inquiries, and settlements
  • Developing and implementing corporate compliance programs and compliance training programs
  • Advising on state and federal marketing and disclosure laws
  • Conducting internal compliance reviews and investigations
  • Conducting health regulatory due diligence for transactions in the life sciences industry
Ms. Giesting frequently writes and speaks on topics impacting pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Epstein Becker Green, Ms. Giesting was a Compliance Specialist, Senior Consultant at a New York-based consulting firm, where she offered compliance guidance to pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies. Her experiences include serving as a member of the Independent Review Organization (IRO) for a major pharmaceutical company.