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UK regulators issued a safety warning over a North Sea oil rig operated by Transocean and leased by BP five years ago.
The worries concerned the same key safety device – a blowout preventer – currently being blamed for 11 deaths and the growing oil slick off the US.
Transocean and BP have a number of lawsuits pending against them for alleged negligence after the Deepwater Horizon rig sunk in the Gulf of Mexico two weeks ago.
The 2006 notice claims a blowout preventer testing tool was "not suitable for the purpose for which it was provided and failed in service, exposing persons to risks that endangered their safety". This was on board its Sedco 712 rig leased by now-collapsed oil company Oilexco