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First of all, had BP, Transocean, and/or Halliburton not committed criminal negligence in order to maximize profits, the massive environmental catastrophe that was the Deepwater Horizon explosion/Macondo well blowout and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would never have happened. Ahead of that, had United States regulators denied permission to drill or had they applied more thorough oversight, they could have precluded or reduced the risk. That said:
NEW ORLEANS (CN) - BP prolonged the Gulf of Mexico oil spill by two months by concealing the rate of oil flowing from the broken Macondo well, Transocean claims in a document filed in the damages trial. [...]
Transocean wrote in a heavily redacted "supplemental answer and affirmative defenses" that "BP's fraud was the proximate, intervening and superseding cause of the well continuing to flow until mid-July 2010. BP's misrepresentation and concealment of material information about the flow rate caused source control decision-makers to approve proceeding with the top kill over the BOP-on-BOP strategy in mid-May 2010. Because of that, a well that could have been capped in early May 2010 emitted tens of thousands of barrels per day for another two months causing significant environmental pollution." [...]
Transocean claims that BP's motive was to keep the true flow rate hidden, to minimize environmental fines, which are assessed by the barrel.
BP intentionally underrepresented the oil flow rate by as much as two orders of magnitude, in order to throw the game on their later monetary liability. In so doing, they turned a one-month spill into a three-month one. Knowingly and on purpose. Picture that: the spill could have been over and done with in one horrible month, not an interminable three.
While a few BP employees faced criminal charges, and while the courts are yet to decide the full scope of BP's financial liability, the fact that BP continues to do business in the United States and is even drilling in the Gulf of Mexico again is an absolute outrage.
And don't even get me started on dispersants.
Of course, keep in mind that this news comes out of Transocean's attempt to optimize its position in court.