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Foreign flagging of offshore rigs skirts U.S. safety rules

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posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 08:21 AM
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Foreign flagging of offshore rigs skirts U.S. safety rules


www.latimes.com

Under International law, offshore oil rigs like the Deepwater Horizon are treated as ships, and companies are allowed to "register" them in unlikely places such as the Marshall Islands, Panama and Liberia — reducing the U.S. government's role in inspecting and enforcing safety and other standards.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 08:21 AM
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Well, it seems that the same method that keeps rich folks money safe from taxes overseas has once again proved potentially profitable. Apparently, this BP rig was technically classified as a ship, which means it was able to be registered outside of the US and entitled to skip the traditional US regulations, safety inspections, etc.


Reporting from Washington — The Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico was built in South Korea. It was operated by a Swiss company under contract to a British oil firm. Primary responsibility for safety and other inspections rested not with the U.S. government but with the Republic of the Marshall Islands — a tiny, impoverished nation in the Pacific Ocean.



Senior members of Congress — including Oberstar and House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.) — have begun looking into the inspection and staffing issues. The House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will hold a hearing Thursday on foreign-flagged rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Different types of rigs are classified differently, and the Marshall Islands assigned the Deepwater Horizon to a category that permitted lower staffing levels.


Interestingly, Prove IT Now has a thread regarding recent troop activity and I'm wondering now, after reading this, if they aren't there inspecting foreign-flagged ships currently operating in the Gulf. Granted, a slightly different location, but may be related nonetheless. Here is the thread if anyone wants to take a look:

Armed forces with M-16s down the street from me.

Also, this is going to further muddy the waters as to whom is responsible for the money needed to clean up this disaster.

As has been stated in other threads, unless the Federal Government can prove that BP acted in a manner that was criminally negligent, they may only be legally responsible for $75 million of the damages.

I would imagine that if BP followed the necessary protocol according to the Marshall Islands regulations, they will be found to be compliant with the necessary safety procedures and inspections and therefore not liable for additional damages.

Anyone sensing that fossil fuel and/or carbon tax legislation breathing down their backs yet?


Brown's lawyer and others say the Marshall Islands licensed the Deepwater Horizon in a way that allowed rig operator Transocean Ltd. to place an oil drilling expert — the so-called offshore installation manager — ahead of a licensed sea captain in making decisions on the day of the explosion.

The dual command structure created confusion that delayed an effective response to the growing crisis aboard the Deepwater Horizon, he and others allege.

Officials at Transocean and the Marshall Islands reject the claims. They say they fulfilled all requirements of the law and met the highest industry standards, and those of the Coast Guard.


I think that the crux of the argument is going to lie in the above statement.

And to think that the British don't want us talking about this because it may affect their retirement savings.... at least they'll still have a place to retire to....



www.latimes.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 15-6-2010 by lpowell0627]



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