The Wall Street Journal has made an interesting discovery in an April 1st securities filing from Transocean Ltd. As reported by the Journal, Transocean has paid cash bonuses to executives for their safety performance during 2010.
Transocean is one of the world’s largest offshore drilling contractors. The company rents floating mobile drill rigs, along with the equipment and personnel for operations, to oil and gas companies. Transocean’s rates are as high as $650,000 a day for its deep-water rigs.
In the securities filing in which the safety bonus payouts were disclosed, Transocean said it 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 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 explanation, 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.”
What a crock!