Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9405879:

Mexican Gulf 13 9, 11:07pm

Regarding ownership: BP was the majority stakeholder in this particular exploitation, which made them the easy and obvious party to be thrown under the bus (as well as being foreign owned).

Here's a little clarification and history lesson for those that want it: The US government auctions off leases for companies to exploit the oil fields. Many offshore oil projects are joint projects because of how expensive they are. In this case, BP brought in Anadarko Petroleum and MOEX, companies you've probably never heard of because they only are in the production business and do not retail fuel like BP does. If in the exploring phase, as this was, they charter (lease/rent) a movable drilling rig (a mobile rig, "jack-up", or drill ship). BP reached out to Transocean, one of the biggest offshore drilling companies in the US & world. Transocean also subcontracted to Halliburton (fellow Americans may remember this name the 2000 presidential election). The blow-out preventer that failed was built by another company. At the end of the day, Transocean employees were cutting corners (and in doing so breaking US environmental and occupational safety laws) at the urging of BP employees. At the end of the day (so to speak), BP got the worst of it because they were the high-visibility target. Transocean also got hit pretty hard with fines and penalties because it was their people that actually broke the law (bear in mind that 32 of 126 crew died in the disaster, a few BP, several Transocean). Halliburton, Anadarko, and MOEX did not suffer consequences nearly as much.