Our Gulf Coast recently marked the one year anniversary of the oil spill. On April 21, 2010, a fire was reported on a Transocean-owned drilling rig in the . As the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank, the riser pipe that connected the well-head to the rig was severed and oil began to gush into the Gulf.
The rig’s owner and BP contractor, Transocean Ltd., 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 rental rates for the deep water rigs are as high as $650,000 a day!
The company traces its roots back to 1953, when the Birmingham-based Southern Natural Gas Company created The Offshore Company. In 1967 the company went public. In 1978 Southern Natural Gas turned it into a wholly owned subsidiary and later changed its name to Sonat Offshore Drilling Inc., reflecting a change in its parent’s name. In 1993 Sonat spun off the company. During subsequent mergers and acquisitions over the last two decades, the company evolved into what is know today as Transocean, Ltd.
Transocean recently claimed that 2010, the year in which the disaster occurred, was “the best year in safety performance in our company’s history.” In a regulatory filing, the company said, “Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate.”
What a crock. Eleven young men were incinerated in the disaster.
It’s no point of pride that this now unrelated outfit can claim an origin in our Great State of Alabama.