A great day for oil!

Deepwater Horizon site, two months after the explosion in 2010. Photo: Associated Press

Transocean, remember them?

Transocean Ltd. had its “best year in safety performance” despite the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig that left 11 dead and oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the world’s largest offshore-rig company said in a securities filing Friday.

Accordingly, Transocean’s executives received two-thirds of their target safety bonus. Safety accounts for 25% of the equation that determines the yearly cash bonuses, along with financial factors including new rig contracts

The payout contrasts with that for 2009, when the company withheld all executive bonuses after incurring four fatalities that year “to underscore the company’s commitment to safety.”

In a filing on executive pay, Transocean said, “Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record.” Based on the total rate of incidents and their severity, “we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company’s history.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

If 11 dead (and the largest oil spill in U.S. history) is the best year ever for safety, I don’t even want to see what a bad year looks like.

And Transocean wasn’t the only company announcing good news. BP is back on its feet and ready to go. The company is seeking permission to drill 10 development wells in the Gulf of Mexico and if successful will “give government overseers 24-hour access to its drilling operations.” Considering the record of U.S. government overseers, I don’t know what that reassurance is worth.

You can read the rest of that article here.

No time for regrets!

As the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion approaches, there is still no consensus on the full impact of the spill on the environment and the economy. The U.S. government recently launched an Environmental Assessment of the spill which, among other things, will attempt to measure the spill’s impact on marine life. An incomplete assessment of the spill’s damage notwithstanding, it looks like the time for reflection is over. The U.S. government has already granted two new drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico, and BP’s request will likely get approval soon.

And for those of you wondering if Transocean or BP are involved in Ghana’s oil industry, BP, along with China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, recently made a bid to buy Kosmos Energy’s interest in the Jubilee Field operation. Kosmos rejected the bid. For the moment, then BP is not active in Ghana, but a subsidiary of Transocean, Challenger Minerals Inc., is part of an exploratory drilling operation in the country.



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